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THE LAST WORD 

Finding peace 
at the end of 
a good life ^ 

p.36 Oliver Sacks 


TALKING POINTS 

BUSH’S WAR 
WITH M 
TRUMP ■ 


MAIN STORIES 

Turning McKinley 

into 

Denali 




THE BEST OF THE U.S. AND INTERNATIONAL MEDIA 


The murder 


Guns, social media, and 
the viral contagion 
of mass shootings 

Pages 4, 6, 11 


ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT EVERYTHING THAT MATTERS 


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4 NEWS The main stories... 

Televised killings spark new^ debate on guns 


What happened 

The murder of two local TV journalists live 
on air in Roanoke, Va., last week reignited the 
national debate over whether America’s epi- 
demic of gun violence can be stemmed by any 
change in laws. WDBJ reporter Alison Parker, 

24, and cameraman Adam Ward, 27, were shot 
dead by a disgruntled former colleague during 
an interview with a local commerce chamber 
leader. The shooter, former TV reporter Vester 
Lee Flanagan, used a cellphone to record the 
attack himself and uploaded the grisly video to 
social media (see Controversy) before turning his Clock 9 mm on 
himself. Parker’s parents pledged to devote their lives to persuading 
lawmakers to tighten America’s gun laws. “Alison was our bright, 
shining light,” said Andy Parker, “and it was cruelly extinguished 
by yet another crazy person with a gun.” 

Flanagan, 41, was fired from WDBJ in 2013 for disruptive behavior — 
one of several jobs he lost because of his volatile temper. In a ram- 
bling, 23-page manifesto he faxed to ABC News shortly after the 
killings, Flanagan claimed he had faced years of discrimination and 
sexual harassment for being black and gay. He voiced his admira- 
tion of the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre, and said his actions in 
Roanoke were partially in response to the church shooting in June 
of nine black people by a white supremacist in Charleston, S.C. 
Flanagan bought his handgun legally two days after the Charleston 
attack. “I’ve been a human powder keg for a while,” he wrote, “just 
waiting to go BOOM! Ill” 

What the editorials said 

This tragic shooting was yet another reminder that our gun laws 
“are deeply irrational,” said The Washington Post. Firearms aren’t 
“noble instruments of freedom” — they’re killing machines that are 
tightly regulated by every other developed nation in the world. Yet 
our craven leaders refuse even to fix background check loopholes, 
or to ban “wholly unnecessary” high-capacity magazines. Would 
those measures have prevented the Roanoke murders? Probably 
not, “but they could prevent others.” 

Gun control advocates always proffer the same “thoughtless and 
knee-jerk” solutions, said NationalReview.com. Background checks 


are “easily circumvented”; assault weapons ac- 
count for only a tiny fraction of gun crime; and 
banning high-capacity magazines holding more 
than 10 rounds would make it harder for law- 
abiding gun owners — “who often shoot poorly 
under duress” — ^to defend themselves. If we 
want to tackle gun violence, we should start by 
“reforming our broken mental health system.” 
With 300 million firearms in private hands, no 
new law will keep a murderous madman from 
finding a weapon. 

What the columnists said 

why isn’t the media calling this a race crime? asked Noah Roth- 
man in CommentaryMagazine.com. When the clearly disturbed 
Dylann Roof slaughtered nine black parishioners in Charleston, 
there was “a coordinated effort to downplay Roof’s mental 
state,” so as to make him representative of a legion of Confeder- 
ate-flag-waving white racists. Yet Flanagan — who said he hated 
white people and explicitly echoed Roof’s desire to start a “race 
war” — has been written off as a deluded nut acting alone. Why the 
double standard? 

It’s a fallacy that nothing can be done, said Robert Spitzer in the 
New York Daily News. Had Flanagan tried to buy a handgun in 
New York state, “the story would likely have been very different.” 
To get a permit, he’d have had to list his former employers and say 
whether he’d ever been fired or been treated for mental illness. He 
would also have had to provide four character references testifying 
to his mental soundness. Then a county judge would have made a 
final decision — ^possibly after a face-to-face interview. Were similar 
laws in place across the country, there ’d be many fewer gun deaths. 

“Liberals need to be honest” about their intentions, said Jonathan 
Tobin in CommentaryMagazine.com. Gun control advocates 
often point to Australia, where gun deaths fell after a nationwide 
ban on semi-automatic weapons, followed by a mass confiscation. 
But liberals are never willing to follow through on that logic. “If 
you really believe America has too many guns,” stop pretend- 
ing you’ll be satisfied with background check laws or other half 
measures. Your real goal should be “changing the Constitution” to 
remove the right to bear arms. Why not admit it? 



It wasn't all bad 

■ Mason Farr has good instincts.The 
7-year-old had just tubed down a wa- 
terslide at a Maryland water park and 
was watching his aunt, Jenny Mama, 
take a turn on the ride. But when 
Mama splashed into the pool and 
didn't come up for air. Mason realized 
something was wrong. Acting fast, he 
reached down and pulled his aunt's 
head above the water. Mama, who in- 
jured her spine after losing control of 
her tube, now says she owes her life 
to her quick-thinking nephew. "She 
was drowning really bad, and I felt 
bad for her," Mason explained. "So 
that's why I jumped in and saved her." 



■ Matthew Picca, 25, was down on one knee on a dock in 
Southport, N.C., and about to ask Kayla Harrity, 24, to marry 
him when his engagement ring slipped out of its box and 
into the ocean. Picca immediately jumped into the water, as 
did patrons from a nearby bar, some of whom went to get 

goggles and flash- 
lights to help with 
the search. Nearly 
two hours later, the 
ring was found. With 
a crowd of onlookers 
chanting "Propose 
again!" the soaking- 
wet Picca finally put 
the ring on Hamty's 
finger. "It was the 
best feeling in the 

Picca and Harrity: She said yes. world," she said. 


■ When Ralph McCrory suffered 
a heart attack while mowing 
his lawn in the Florida heat, the 
first fire crew on the scene stuck 
around to tidy his yard after 
putting the 65-year-old in an 
ambulance. "We realized it would 
be a lot for this gentleman," said 
firefighter Eugene Mobley. A 
neighbor took photos of the crew 
cutting McCrory's 2-foot-high 
grass and posted the pictures to 
Facebook, where they went viral. 
"These guys weren't looking to 
be recognized," said Flernando 
County Fire Rescue Asst. Chief 
Kevin Carroll. "This is just what 
the people in this profession do." 


THE WEEK September 11, 2015 


Illustration by Howard McWilliam. 
Cover photos from Corbis, AP, Newscom 


WDBJ-TV/AF? screenshot 





...and how they were covered NEWS 5 


Obama’s landmark move 

President Obama unexpectedly announced this 
week that the nation’s highest peak, Mt. McKin- 
ley, would officially be renamed Denali, as he 
began a three-day tour of Alaska to urge ac- 
tion on climate change. The mountain has been 
called Denali, an indigenous Athabaskan word 
meaning “the high one,” by Native Alaskans 
for centuries. But Obama’s executive order, 
made through the authority of the interior sec- 
retary, angered Republicans in Ohio — ^the birth- 
place of President William McKinley, after 
whom the peak was named. House Speaker 
John Boehner (R-Ohio) said he was “deeply disappointed,” and 
Ohio Gov. John Kasich accused Obama of executive overreach. 

During his tour, Obama visited the melting Bear Glacier and deliv- 
ered a stark speech in Anchorage, warning that rising oceans could 
submerge entire countries if carbon emissions weren’t reduced. 
“Climate change is no longer some far-off problem,” said Obama. 
“It is happening now.” 


Poor President McKinley, said Jim Swift in WashingtonPost.com. 
Killed by an assassin’s bullet in 1901, six months into his second 
term, the former Ohio governor was poorly 
remembered even before Obama stripped him 
of his mountain. Other than “the now de- 
funct $500 bill, what does he have?” 

Oh, please, said Jonathan Bernstein in 
BloombergView.com. McKinley never set 
foot in Alaska, and the mountain was only 
named after him because some gold prospec- 
tor wanted to celebrate McKinley’s support 
for the gold standard. Indeed, Alaskans of all 
stripes — including “no less a partisan conser- 
vative than Sarah Palin” — have welcomed the name change. 

Great, so Obama has renamed Denali, said Eric Holthaus in Slate 
.com. “What the president didn’t emphasize enough: Denali is los- 
ing its glaciers at a rapid clip.” Obama’s entire “urgent” climate 
change trip is a hypocritical stunt, coming in the wake of his deci- 
sion to allow Royal Dutch Shell to drill for oil in Alaska’s Chukchi 
Sea. Obama promised to lead on climate change; now it turns out 
that bold action “doesn’t look so different from the status quo.” 



Goodbye, Mt. McKinley. Hello, Denali. 


Fears rise over police safety 

Hundreds of Illinois police officers conducted a massive manhunt 
this week, searching for three suspects in the death of a police of- 
ficer gunned down in the quiet Chicago suburb of Fox Lake. Au- 
thorities say Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz, 52, was on patrol 
when he pursued the suspects on foot and radioed for backup. 
Officers arrived to find the father of four — a 32-year veteran of 
the force just weeks from retirement — shot through the head. 

Gliniewicz was the 24th police officer shot and killed on duty this 
year and the fourth in nine days. Two officers were slain in Lou- 
isiana, and Texas sheriff’s deputy Darren Goforth, 47, was shot 
while fueling his patrol car at a suburban Houston gas station. 
Authorities have charged Shannon Miles, who is black, with that 
murder; investigators say he shot Goforth 15 times from behind 
and targeted him because of his uniform. It was a “cold-blooded 
assassination,” said Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman. “We’ve 
heard ‘Black lives matter.’... Well, cops’ lives matter, too.” 

It’s no stretch for Hickman to link the murder of his deputy to the 
Black Lives Matter movement, which has stoked “anti-cop anger” 


nationwide, said The Washington Times in an editorial. Two days 
after Goforth was gunned down. Black Lives Matter marchers in 
St. Paul, Minn., chanted “Pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon.” 
Don’t they realize the “deadly effects of such rhetoric?” 

Of course cops’ lives matter, said Janell Ross in Washington 
Post.com. But making that a mantra “fundamentally misses the 
point.” It assumes that “in a world in which Black Lives Mat- 
ter, police lives accordingly do not” — that officers somehow can’t 
do their jobs unless they can work “without regard for the civil 
rights and liberties of people of color.” A disproportionate num- 
ber of blacks and Latinos die at the hands of cops. Demanding 
equal treatment “is not equivalent to sanctioning the ambush 
murder of police.” 

“Now, when a police officer is killed, for whatever reason, it is 
set against a larger context of anger and seething politics,” said 
John Kass in ChicagoTribune.com. Lost in the “hashtag mental- 
ity” are police families. They live in fear of the phone — ^the ring 
that heralds awful news, or the video that turns their life into a 
political drama. “They’re too often forgotten, or ignored.” But 
they matter, too. 


THE WEEK 


There is no shortage of advice on how to live, but precious little on 
how to die. It should be a topic of universal concern, but is scrupu- 
lously avoided, so fearful are we of our mortality; even the dying 
rarely address death directly. So it was with great admiration that I read neurologist Oliver Sacks' 
essay six months ago about his impending death from metastatic cancer. With the attention to 
detail, insight, and childlike wonder that marked all of his writing. Sacks confessed his sadness at 
leaving the party, but noted that "my predominant feeling is one of gratitude." His had been a rich, 
deeply considered life. "Above all," he wrote in a beautiful coda, "I have been a sentient being, a 
thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and ad- 
venture." (For more on Sacks, see Obituaries, and there's another of his essays inThe Last Word.) 

I have lived long enough now to have seen a fair number of people face their deaths. There are 
many ways to go: with rage that this could happen to me; in silent terror and pain, clinging to life 
through punishing medical treatments; and with a sad but accepting equanimity. Those who en- 
joy life most, strangely enough, seem to let go of it with the most grace. People like Sacks seem 
to intuitively understand all along that we are visitors here, passing through a great mystery. Ev- 
ery moment of life, including the final ones, is a gift— a chance to appreciate, grow, connect, and 
give back. When my time comes, I fervently hope I can exit with a semblance of Sacks' dignity and 


peace, and if I may be so presumptuous, I wish the same for you. 


William Falk 


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THE WEEK September 11, 2015 




6 NEWS Controversy of the week 
Roanoke shooting: Turning murder into a selfie 


“In one sad sense, there was nothing new” about the 
recent fatal shootings of two television journalists 
in Virginia, said Farhad Manjoo in The New York 
Times. The spectacle of angry gunmen murdering 
people in public has become sadly commonplace in 
the U.S. But the killings of reporter Alison Parker, 

24, and cameraman Adam Ward, 27, in Roanoke 
last week came with a “frightful twist.” The shooter, 

Vester Lee Flanagan, carried out his cold-blooded 
double murder on live television, as Parker con- 
ducted an interview for network WDBJ, while Flanagan simultane- 
ously made a video of the killing on his smartphone. After fleeing 
the scene as police hunted for him, Flanagan, 41, uploaded his 
chilling video to Facebook and Twitter, and it went viral. A former 
TV reporter himself, he knew the first live, selfie murder would 
instantly become international news, and he was already famous 
when police cornered him and he turned his handgun on himself. 
In staging his theatrical act of revenge against two former col- 
leagues and the world, Flanagan wasn’t just a ruthless killer, said 
Ian Robertson in The Daily Telegraph (U.K.). “He was also a film 
director, actor, and soon-to-be grotesque celebrity.” 

Like so many attention-seeking shooters before him, Flanagan was 
“a classic ‘injustice collector,’” said Dave Cullen in NewRepublic 
.com. In a manifesto sent to ABC News after the shootings, he 
complained of suffering from discrimination at WDBJ because he 
was gay and black, saying “haters” had hounded and demeaned 
him at every turn. His accusations seem dubious — his evidence of 
racism included colleagues using the word “field” and bringing 
a watermelon into the station — and Flanagan had accused co- 
workers of racist slights at previous jobs. But “collectors magnify 
petty ‘injustices,’” and Flanagan quickly constructed a “worldview 


of himself as victimized, bullied, discriminated, and 
disrespected.” In the social media era, it was inevi- 
table that a narcissistic killer would “share” his 
revenge with the world, said Callum Borchers in 
The Boston Globe. “When people mount GoPros 
on their ski helmets, take selfies on roller coasters, 
and live-tweet their weddings, why wouldn’t crimi- 
nals document themselves in the act?” 


No one should be criticized for posting or watch- 
ing that video, said Sam Biddle in Gawker.com. “It’s horrific, 
graphic, and gruesome — and it’s important that everyone looks at 
it.” Perhaps if Americans can see Parker and Ward “being effort- 
lessly slaughtered by a disgruntled former co-worker with an 
easily obtained firearm,” they will be jolted into doing something 
about gun violence. Actually, spreading those images could make 
things worse, said Leon Neyfakh in Slate.com. Shooting rampages, 
experts say, often lead to copycat attacks, and any media outlet or 
Twitter user who shared Flanagan’s video encouraged people with 
revenge fantasies to “imagine themselves in the killer’s position.” 

But it’s becoming increasingly difficult to hide from such images, 
said Leonard Pitts Jr. in MiamiHerald.com. Flanagan carried out 
and curated his killings online “like a PR campaign,” complete 
with angry justifications, so that he instantly gained thousands 
of fascinated Twitter followers and got his snuff film posted to 
people’s Facebook pages. Because we “live cheek by jowl online,” 
the video then showed up in other people’s newsfeeds, where the 
autoplay feature revealed its horrors without even a click. Today, 
a killer can compel millions of people to watch and participate in 
his brutal actions, whether we like it or not. “This, then, is Vester 
Flanagan’s perverse triumph. He has made witnesses of us all.” 



Flanagan on the air in 1 998 


Only in America 

■ A Georgia school district is 
investigating the mass bap- 
tism of its high school football 
players just before practice. 

A video showing the baptism 
appeared on a Baptist church's 
website, with the caption: 

"See how God is STILL in our 
schools." A spokeswoman for 
the Freedom From Religion 
Foundation said the coach was 
illegally misusing his authority 
"to promote his personal reli- 
gious agenda." School district 
officials said they would "take 
appropriate steps." 

■ Washington State Univer- 
sity professors have warned 
students that using "oppres- 
sive and hateful language" 
such as "male," "female," and 
"illegal immigrant" will result 
in bad grades. But administra- 
tors promised to ensure that 
no student will be punished 
for "using terms that may be 
deemed offensive to some." 


Good week for: 

Transparency, after thousands of teens in Taiwan sparked a new 
fashion craze by posting selfies while wearing nothing but plastic 
shopping bags. Bags from 7-11 are particularly cool. 

Carly Fiorina, after CNN announced that it is changing the 
eligibility rules for its Sept. 16 Republican presidential debate to 
include more-recent polling data, making it more likely that the 
former business executive — now in the top 10 — will make the cut. 
Getting a room, after an amorous German couple on a trip to 
Austria got in the back seat of their minivan to fool around, and 
became so distracted they didn’t immediately realize the van was 
rolling into a lake. As the van sank, the lovers barely escaped by 
climbing out of the windows and swimming to shore. 

Bad week for: 

Overflossing, after a Wisconsin woman suffered a severe infec- 
tion in her artificial knee because her vigorous tooth-cleaning regi- 
men introduced bacteria from her mouth into her bloodstream. 
The gold standard, after hammer-thrower Pawel Fajdek of 
Poland got very drunk celebrating his world championship at a 
competition in Beijing and used his gold medal to pay his taxi 
fare home. He felt some regrets the next morning. 

First impressions, after a Chicago man accidentally sent naked 
selfies of himself to the company human resources manager who 
had just hired him, sparking a police investigation. “My under- 
standing is they’ve rescinded the offer of employment,” the local 
police chief said. 


Boring but important 

Fast food worker victory 

A landmark ruling by the 
National Labor Relations 
Board (NLRB) last week will 
make it easier for fast food 
workers, subcontractors, 
and franchise employees to 
organize into unions. Until 
now, those workers had only 
been able to negotiate with 
their contractors or franchises 
when a labor dispute arose, 
not with the parent company 
itself. But in a 3-2 vote along 
party lines, with Democrats in 
the majority, the NLRB ruled 
that the owner of a California 
recycling plant was a "joint 
employer" along with the 
contractor that hired workers, 
and could therefore be forced 
to bargain with the employee 
union, or risk violating U.S. 
labor law. Business groups 
immediately called on the 
Republican-controlled Con- 
gress to overturn the ruling. 


THE WEEK September 11, 2015 


St. Louis Post-Dispatch/AF? AP Reuters, AP 


The U.S. at a glance... 


NEWS 7 





Hillsboro, Mo. 

Transgender protest: More than 100 

students walked out of class at Hillsboro 

High School this 

week to protest 

a transgender 

student’s use of 

the female locker 

room. Lila Perry, 

17, had been 

using a gender- 

neutral faculty 

„ , 1 r ^ ■ 1 r ■ 1 restroom since 

L^erry (center left) with friends 

' ' coming out as 

transgender in February, and when gym 
class was added to her schedule. Perry 
began using the female locker room. 
Several parents immediately complained 
that since Perry has male genitalia she 
shouldn’t be allowed to use the girls’ 
facility. A school board meeting held to 
discuss the issue was so packed, it had 
to be moved to a bigger location, and 
Perry was sequestered in the 
school principal’s office during 
this week’s two-hour protest, 
for her own safety. “Fm not 
going to hurt their daugh- 
ters,” said Perry of concerned 
parents. “Pm not a pervert. 

Pm a transgender woman. 

Pm a girl. Pm just in there 
to change.” 


Oakland 

Prison overhaul: California officials 
agreed this week to release nearly 2,000 
inmates from solitary confinement and to 
place strict limits on prisoners’ prolonged 
isolation, in 
a landmark 
lawsuit 
settlement 
announced 
in Oakland. 
Almost 2,900 


Protesting solitary confinement 


prisoners 
are currently 
held in soli- 
tary confinement across the state — many 
of them for minor infractions, like talking 
back to prison guards, or for having gang 
tattoos. Some of them have remained 
in isolation for decades. Thousands of 
inmates have gone on hunger strikes to 
protest the conditions, while others have 
filed lawsuits. In response, authorities 
said they would release as many as 1,800 
inmates into the general prison popula- 
tion or into high-security units. Solitary 
confinement will now be limited to those 
who commit serious offenses while in 
prison, such as murder or assault. 


Washington, D.C. 

Iran deal secured: In a major foreign pol- 
icy victory. President Obama this week 
officially secured the votes needed to pre- 
vent Republican lawmakers from block- 
ing the Iranian nuclear deal. Sen. Barbara 
Mikulski (D-Md.) became the crucial 
34th senator to announce her support 
for the agreement, giving Obama the 
minimum votes needed to sustain a presi- 
dential veto if Republicans pass a disap- 
proval resolution before the Sept. 17 
deadline. If Obama can now secure the 
support of seven of the remaining 1 1 
undeclared Democratic senators, he will 
have the 41 votes needed to filibuster 
the resolution, entirely preventing an 
up-or-down vote in the Senate. “No deal 
is perfect, especially one negotiated with 
the Iranian regime,” said Sen. Mikulski, 
but the agreement “is the best option 
available to block Iran from having a 
nuclear bomb.” 


San Antonio 


Police shooting: San Antonio police called 
for calm this week following the release of 
a video that showed officers fatally shoot- 
ing a Hispanic man who appeared to be 
holding his arms in the air. Authorities 
had been called to the home of Gilbert 
Flores, 41, last week following a domestic 
disturbance report. In footage taken on 
a bystander’s cellphone and released by 
a local television station, Flores — ^who 
police said was armed — is seen running 
from officers outside his house before 
turning to face them and raising his arms. 
The officers then fire on him, and he falls 
to the ground. In the video, Flores’ left 
arm is obscured, and news reports said 
that a second, unreleased video showed 
the suspect holding a knife in his left 
hand. The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office 
blasted the release of the first video, say- 
ing that it had led to “physical threats” 
against the officers, who have been placed 
on paid administrative leave. 


Concord, N.H. 

St. Paul’s trial: 

Owen Labrie, a 
former student at 
the elite St. Paul’s 
prep school, 
sobbed in court 
last week as he 
was acquitted of 
rape — though the 
19-year-old still faces a prison sentence 
for having sex with a minor under the 
age of 16. The case had focused a spot- 
light on the prestigious school’s “senior 
salute” tradition, in which graduating 
males attempt to seduce younger female 
students. An unnamed 15 -year-old stu- 
dent accused Labrie of raping her last 
year, but Labrie said that their encounter 
was consensual and they had stopped 
short of having sex. The jury said there 
was not enough evidence to convict 
Labrie of aggravated sexual assault, but 
found him guilty of using the internet to 
entice a minor and of four counts 
of misdemeanor sexual assault 
and child endangerment. 

Labrie, who faces up to 11 years 
in prison, will also have to regis- 
ter as a sex offender. 


Morehead, Ky. 

Same-sex marriage clash: A Kentucky 
county courthouse became the scene of 
a tense stand- 
off this week 
after a local 
clerk defied the 
U.S. Supreme 
Court’s order 
to issue mar- 
riage licenses 

to gay couples, Davis (right): Defiant 
saying she was 

acting “under God’s authority.” Rowan 
County clerk Kim Davis stopped issuing 
all marriage licenses after the Supreme 
Court’s 5^ gay marriage ruling in June, 
and sued in federal court to be excused 
from granting licenses to same-sex 
couples, on the basis of her Apostolic 
Christian faith. When the Supreme Court 
rejected her claim this week, several gay 
couples — backed by a group of protesters 
chanting, “Do your job!” — arrived at the 
courthouse in Morehead to receive their 
licenses, only to find a defiant Davis still 
refusing to grant them. “It is not a light 
issue for me,” said Davis, who has been 
divorced three times. “It is a heaven-or- 
hell decision.” Lawyers for the same-sex 
couples have filed court motions to have 
Davis held in contempt and fined. 





THE WEEK September 11, 2015 





8 NEWS 


The world at a glance... 






NeusiedI am See, Austria 

Migrant chaos: Europe was 
struggling to cope with an 
unfolding humanitarian disas- 
ter this week as tens of thou- 
sands of migrants and refugees 
snaked their way northward 
through the European Union, 
some of them dying along the 
way. Authorities arrested five Budapest. 

suspected human traffickers after an abandoned refrigerated 
truck was discovered in Austria crammed with the bodies of 
71 migrants, including a baby girl and three other children, 
who suffocated to death. “This is a warning for us to tackle 
the issue of migration quickly,” said German Chancellor 
Angela Merkel. “The world’s eyes are upon us.” In Hungary, 
angry scenes erupted outside Budapest’s main railway station 
when authorities blocked hundreds of migrants from board- 
ing trains heading to Germany and Austria, saying they were 
enforcing EU law. And at least 200 people were believed to 
have drowned when two boats crammed with Europe-bound 
migrants sank off the Libyan coast; more than 2,500 people 
have died trying to cross the Mediterranean so far this year. 

EU leaders have scheduled an emergency summit for 
Sept. 14 to discuss Merkel’s proposal to change EU asylum 
rules. Current rules require refugees to seek asylum in the first 
EU country they enter. But most of the Syrians, Iraqis, and 
other migrants seeking refuge land in Greece or Italy after 
crossing the Mediterranean, then head north, hoping to reach 
wealthier countries such as Germany, Erance, and Britain. 
Merkel wants to institute a quota system, in which each EU 
member nation would accept a certain number of refugees. 


Carleton-sur-Mer, Canada 

Double your money: Canadians in one region 
of Quebec have created their own local cur- 
rency by cutting their Canadian bills in half. 
Business owners in the Gaspe region are 
accepting half-twenties as if they were $10 
bills, and half-tens as if they were fives. 
Locals are calling each cut-up note a demi, 
Erench for “half.” Demi user Patrick DuBois 
said the new currency helped ensure money 
stayed in the local economy, because “no one else will accept” the 
chopped-up notes. The Bank of Canada said the practice is not 
illegal, but is unpatriotic. Mutilating bank notes is “inappropri- 
ate, as they are a symbol of our country and a source of national 
pride,” said Bank of Canada spokeswoman Josianne Menard. 


Split the bill. 


Walbrzych, Poland 

Nazi gold rush: Police sealed off wood- 
lands near the city of Walbrzych this 
week after treasure hunters swarmed the 
site, seeking a Nazi train reputed to be 
laden with gold, jewelry, and paintings. 

The mountainous area, part of Germany 

during World War II, is crisscrossed with , tw »/ ? 

tunnels, bunkers, and underground rail ^ Walbrzych 

lines. Local legend holds that the Nazis loaded valuables looted 
from Jewish homes onto an armored train and hid it in one of 
the tunnels toward the end of the war. Two treasure hunters 
claimed they had located the train last week, and Deputy Culture 
Minister Piotr Zuchowski said he had seen outlines of the train 
on an image from a ground-penetrating radar device. 


San Cristobal, Venezuela 

Kicking out Colombians: Venezuela has closed part of its border 
with Colombia and deported hundreds of Colombians in a crack- 
down on smuggling networks. Thousands more Colombians fled, 
fearing arrest. The sweep began after unknown assailants 
attacked a Venezuelan anti-smuggling patrol, wounding three 
soldiers and one civilian. President Nicolas Maduro blamed 
gangs from Colombia, saying the country allows smuggling 
rings to buy subsidized food in Venezuela that they sell at a 
profit in Colombia, and he ordered a census to be taken of 
people and businesses along the border. The two countries 
recalled their ambassadors, and Maduro upped the ante this 
week by alleging that the Colombian government had “regret- 
tably” given its consent to a plan to assassinate him. 


mayor of a small Brazilian 
town who governed through her 
WhatsApp account has disappeared 

after being accused of embezzling some $1 million. Lidiane Leite, 
25, was last seen in mid-August and has since been replaced by 
her deputy. Residents complained that Leite 
spent most of her time in a nearby big city, 
as evidenced by the numerous selfies she 
posted at nightclubs and parties there, and 
her cabinet members said she communicated 
with them primarily by text. “She started 
flaunting a luxurious lifestyle that her salary 
couldn’t afford,” said police officer Max 
Ribeiro. “She was traveling, doing plastic 
Leite: Party politics surgeries, and buying expensive cars.” 


THE WEEK September 11, 2015 


Alamy, Getty, AF? screenshot: Facebook 




Corbis, screenshot (2), AP (2), Reuters 


The world at a glance... 


NEWS 9 



Kiev, Ukraine 

Violence over devolution: A deadly clash broke out in front of 
Ukraine’s legislature this week as lawmakers began a process 
to grant semi-autonomy to the country’s pro-Russian eastern 
provinces. Ultranationalists armed with pipes and batons battled 
police, and one threw a grenade; three officers were killed in the 
violence and more than 120 were injured. Prime Minister Arseniy 
Yatsenyuk said the protesters were worse than the Russians 
and accused them of “trying to open another front in the coun- 
try’s midst.” The devolution of power to the eastern regions 
of Luhansk and Donetsk is a key condition of a cease-fire deal 
intended to halt fighting between Ukrainian government troops 
and Russian-backed separatists. But pro-Moscow rebels have not 
held up their end of the pact, concluded in February, and have 
continued bombarding Ukrainian forces; nationalists say no auton- 
omy should be granted until the separatists stop shooting. 


The Temple of Bel, before and after 


Palmyra, Syria 

ISIS destroys temple: ISIS 
militants have flattened 
another temple in the 
ancient city of Palmyra, this 
time one that the United 
Nations called one of the 


most culturally significant works of architecture in the world. 
The Temple of Bel, which dated from early in the 1st century, 
was a synthesis of classical Roman, Greek, and Eastern architec- 
ture, and was one of the largest and best-preserved temples of its 
era. Modern Syrians used to hold an annual music festival there 
before the civil war. The destruction came a week after ISIS blew 
up the historic Temple of Baalshamin, also in Palmyra. 


Vatican City 

Abortion forgiveness: Pope Francis has tem- 
porarily given priests the power to forgive 
women who have had an abortion. In church 
teaching, abortion is considered such a grave 
sin that anyone procuring or performing the 
procedure incurs automatic excommunica- 
tion, which can only be lifted by a bishop. But 
during a special “Holy Year of Mercy” that 
begins in December, priests will share bishops’ 
authority to pardon repentant women guilty 
of “the sin of abortion,” the pope said in 
a letter this week. Most bishops in the U.S. already allow their 
priests to grant forgiveness for terminations, but many in other 
countries do not. 

Beijing 

Reporter scapegoated: China is blaming its recent stock market 
turmoil on a business reporter. In what looked like a forced con- 
fession, a tired-looking Wang Xiaolu — a journalist with Caijing 
magazine — apologized on state TV this week for reporting that 
China’s securities regulator was considering ending interventions 
aimed at stabilizing the market. “I shouldn’t have caused our 
country and shareholders such great losses,” he said, “just for the 
sake of sensationalism.” Chinese authorities have also blamed 
the stock market crash on insider trading, “international capital,” 
foreign investors, and the U.S. Federal Reserve. The Shanghai 
stock market has fallen some 40 percent since June. 


Diyarbakir, Turkey 

Foreign journalists arrested: 
Turkish authorities have arrested 
two British reporters for Vice 
News, Jake Hanrahan and Philip 
Pendlebury, and their Iraqi trans- 
lator, and charged them with 
aiding terrorist groups, includ- 
ing the Islamic State of Iraq and 
Syria and a group affiliated with Kurdish separatists. Authorities 
did not say how Vice’s coverage had helped terrorists, and the 
reporters’ lawyers said the arrests were “aimed at intimidating 
journalists covering the conflict in the region.” Turkey’s broad 
anti-terrorism laws are often used against Turkish writers and 
reporters, and scores of them have been arrested, fined, or fired 
for offending President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The arrest of for- 
eigners, though, is new. 



Pendlebury and Hanrahan 




Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 

Mystery fortune: Tens of thousands of Malaysians protested in 
Kuala Lumpur this week, demanding that Prime Minister Najib 
Razak resign over reports that an unexplained $700 million 
had been found in his personal bank accounts. Anti-corruption 
investigators discovered the money last month while looking 
into alleged mismanagement 
of a state investment fund 
that Najib established six 
years ago and that is now 
some $11 billion in debt. 

Najib said the money was 
a campaign donation from 
unidentified Middle Eastern 
sources, and he chastised the 
demonstrators for showing 
“poor national spirit.” Anger over Razak’s hidden wealth 


THE WEEK September 11, 2015 



10 NEWS 


People 


King's morbid fixation 

Larry King is obsessed with death, said Mark 
Leibovich in The New York Times. The cable 
talk show legend starts every day by reading the 
obituaries, and often wonders who will give the 
eulogy at his funeral. Perhaps Bill Clinton, he 
says. “I bet he’d do it!” he adds with a satisfied 
smile, before his face goes blank. “But I won’t be 
there to see it.” King has survived a heart attack, 
quintuple bypass, prostate cancer, diabetes, and seven divorces — 
yet it wasn’t until he was dropped by CNN at the age of 77 that he 
really got a sense of his own mortality. The lowest point came in 
2011, the year King was dropped, when he turned on the television 
to discover that Osama bin Laden had been killed. King jumped 
to his feet. “I needed to be on the air. I needed a red light to go on. 
But I had nowhere to go.” To stave off aging and the Grim Reaper, 
King gobbles four human growth hormone pills every day. He has 
even arranged to have his body frozen, so he can be brought back 
to life someday. It’s nuts, concedes King — but at least it gives him a 
shred of hope. “Other people have no hope,” he says. 

The NFL's most dangerous linebacker 

Chris Borland walked away from pro football to save his 
brain, said Steve Fainaru and Mark Fainaru-Wada in ESPN the 
Magazine. The former San Francisco 49ers linebacker, 24, caused 
a huge stir in March when he announced that he was retiring after 
just one year out of league, to avoid long-term brain damage. 
Borland was known as a fierce tackier and loved playing the sport. 
“It’s intoxicating, it’s a drug that gives you the most incredible feel- 
ing there is,” he says. But in high school, college, and the NFL, he 
estimates, he suffered at least 30 concussions. That’s why he can 
barely watch the game now. “It’s like a spectacle of violence for 
entertainment. And you’re the actors in it.” His doubts began at 
the University of Wisconsin, when he returned to the locker room 
after a game to discover he couldn’t remember much of what had 
happened on the field. The worrying incidents piled up, and the 
final straw came during a 49ers practice when he rammed his head 
into a 293-pound teammate. Dazed for minutes, Borland asked 
himself if he could handle that kind of repetitive brain trauma for 
years without suffering the serious damage that afflicts many for- 
mer players. Borland’s decision has made him a pariah among fans 
and players who’d rather pretend the danger he fears doesn’t exist. 
“In the eyes of a lot of circles, especially within football. I’m the 
soft guy,” he says. “But I’m fine with being the soft, healthy guy.” 



Stone's altered state 

Sharon Stone is not the woman she used to be, said Christopher 
Bagley in Harper's Bazaar.The Hollywood star's world fell apart in 
2001 when an aneurysm ruptured in her brain, causing a devastat- 
ing cerebral hemorrhage. The resulting brain damage left Stone 
with a stutter, impaired vision, and no feeling in her left leg. "It 
almost feels like my entire DNA changed," says Stone, 57. "My 
brain isn't sitting where it used to, my body type changed, and 
even my food allergies are different." Her career and marriage both 
crashed. When she was well enough to act again. Stone had to 
take a role as an assistant district attorney on television's Law & 
Order. "That was humiliating," says Stone. "Having worked with 
the finest people in the industry, I was like, 'Wow, I'm really at the 
back of the line here.'" But then Stone's pride kicked in. "I thought, 
'You know what? I'd better get humble and shut the f— up and do 
the job.'" Today, Stone is back in movies and feels stronger than 
ever— though still altered by her brush with mortality. "I can be 
abrasively direct.That scares people, but I think that's not my prob- 
lem. It's like, I have brain damage; you'll just have to deal with it." 




Gossip 


Is America ready for First Lady Kim 
Kardashian? Husband KanyeWest 
clearly thinks so— declaring in an 
emotional speech at the MTV 
Video Music Awards that he will 
make a run for the White House 
in 2020. Accepting the Michael 
Jackson Video Vanguard Award, 
the rapper apologized to Taylor 
Swift for rudely interrupting her 
onstage six years ago. But West, 
38, who admitted he had smoked 
a joint before the ceremony, 
vowed to continue to fight for 
"truth" — before ending to screams 
of applause: "And yes, as you 
probably could've guessed by this 


moment, I have decided in 2020 to run for 
president!" In another controversial accep- 
tance speech, Nicki Minaj called VMA host 
Miley Cyrus a "bitch" while accepting the 
award for best hip-hop video. A week earlier, 
Cyrus had said Minaj was jealous of Swift's 
success and was addressing music-industry 
racism in too nasty and personal a way. 

■ A rowdy Lindsay Lohan almost ruined a 
diplomat's lavish four-day wedding in Flor- 
ence with her erratic and bratty behavior, 
says the New York Post. At the wedding of 
Justin Etzin, the Seychelles' consul general, 
to lingerie model Lana Zakocela, Lohan 
tried to upstage the bride by wearing a 
floor-length ivory gown split at the thigh, 
and spent the ceremony painting her nails 
and looking at her phone, said a source. 
Over the course of the weekend, Lohan 


spoke in a fake British accent, ran around 
naked, and accused someone of drugging 
her drink. "It was one thing after the next," 
added the source. 

■ Josh Duggar has checked into an intense 
Christian rehab facility for sinners after 
being outed as one of the 37 million people 
who signed up for adultery dating site 
Ashley Madison. During his six months at 
the all-male Reformers Unanimous home in 
Illinois, the evangelical reality-TV star will be 
woken up between 3 and 5 a.m. to read his 
Bible, and will spend 40 hours a week do- 
ing manual labor. Duggar, 27, who recently 
admitted to molesting five underage girls— 
including two of his sisters— as a teenager, 
will also receive faith-based counseling for 
a porn addiction. Reformers Unanimous 
claims an "over 80 percent success rate." 


THE WEEK September 11, 2015 


Getty, Corbis, Getty 



Briefing NEWS ii 

The killing contagion 

America leads the world in mass shootings. Whyf 


Are mass shootings becoming 
more common? 

Without a doubt, although their 
prevalence depends on how mass 
shootings are defined. A recent 
Harvard University analysis that 
combined FBI data with other sta- 
tistics concluded that since 2011, 
the frequency of mass attacks has 
tripled. But the commonly used 
definition — at least four people 
shot dead in a public place — would 
exclude last week’s shooting on live 
TV in Roanoke, Va., which left two 
dead and one injured, as well as 
last month’s movie theater shoot- 
ing in Lafayette, La., in which two were killed and nine survived 
gunshot wounds. Under a broader definition including all shoot- 
ing deaths of four or more people, USA Today counted 346 mass 
shootings over a 17-year period, with 1,697 victims — about 20 a 
year. A still broader definition used by ShootingTracker, a crowd- 
sourced website, counts all attacks in which four or more people 
are shot, whether or not they’re killed. In the first 239 days of this 
year, the site recorded 249 mass shootings. “It’s a bigger problem 
today than it was a decade ago, and it may be a bigger problem in 
the future,” said University of Alabama criminal justice professor 
Adam Lankford, who just completed a study on mass shootings. 

How does the U.S. compare with other countries? 

We are by far the world leader in this gruesome category. Mass 
shootings do occur in other developed nations — the worst ever 
was in Norway in 2011, when far-right fanatic Anders Behring 
Breivik shot dead 67 people and killed 10 more with bombs. But 
they’re much rarer. In his new study, Lankford found that while 
the U.S. accounts for just 5 percent of the global population, it 
has 31 percent of all public mass shootings in which at least four 
people are killed. The U.S. has five times the number of mass 
shootings as the next-highest country 
on the list, the Philippines. Why? 

There are many factors, but the most 
obvious one is the U.S.’s unique gun 
culture. The U.S. easily has the most 
guns per capita of any country in the 
world. With an estimated 310 million 
guns in circulation — roughly one for 
every American — and lax gun laws 
in many states, it’s not hard for delu- 
sional or vengeful people to procure a 
semiautomatic handgun or rifle. 

What drives the shooters? 

Revenge over real and imagined 
slights, the desire for attention 
and fame, the delusions of mental 
illness — all can play a role. Almost 
all mass shooters are male, and about 
64 percent are white, 16 percent 
black, and 9 percent Asian, accord- 
ing to a Mother Jones study. Only 


23 percent have been treated 
for mental illness. (See box.) 
After studying dozens of mass 
shootings, Lankford concluded 
that the American dream itself 
may contribute to the frequency 
of these killings. Americans, he 
says, are told that with hard 
work, anyone can be wealthy 
and successful. When success 
fails to materialize and men 
find themselves on the margins 
of society, they feel cheated, 
emasculated, and hopeless. 
“They are in real pain,” 
Lankford says, “but they’re 
eager to blame that pain on those around them.” 

Why do they turn to violence? 

Killing former colleagues, schoolmates, or groups of strangers in a 
final, suicidal spasm serves not only as an act of revenge but as a 
way of forcing the world to be aware of the killer’s inner torment. 
These very public attacks also give the killer the fame that eluded 
him in his failed life. “They fantasize about going out in a blaze 
of glory,” says Lankford. In the U.S., he notes, “fame is revered as 
an end unto itself,” even when the notoriety is negative. 

So mass killings cause more mass killings? 

The evidence strongly points to that conclusion. Some research- 
ers, in fact, believe the U.S. suffers from “a contagion” of these 
attacks. “National news media attention is like a ‘vector’ that 
reaches people who are vulnerable,” said Arizona State Univer- 
sity researcher Sherry Towers. These disaffected people can be 
“infected” by the attention other angry, disturbed people get by 
becoming mass killers. Before he shot dead 20 young children 
and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, Adam 
Lanza created a 7-by-4-foot spreadsheet documenting the names, 

body counts, and weapons from 
previous mass murders. “It sounded 
like a doctoral thesis,” one law 
enforcement veteran said. 

Can anything be done? 

Many proposals have been made, 
including reducing the availability 
of guns and high-capacity maga- 
zines, and identifying and treating 
mentally ill people who are prone to 
violence. All the proposed solutions 
might reduce attacks to a modest 
degree, but all face strong politi- 
cal, legal, and logistical obstacles to 
being enacted. Lankford believes the 
viral contagion of mass shootings is 
now deeply embedded in a culture 
steeped in guns, fame, and alien- 
ated men, and is unlikely to abate 
any time soon. “It’s the dark side of 
American exceptionalism,” he says. 



The mental health 'solution' 

Mass shootings are often blamed on failures in 
the mental health system. More than half of mass 
shooters, researchers have found, have some symp- 
toms of mental illness, ranging from simple depres- 
sion to paranoia and schizophrenia. But less than 1 
in 4 of them have sought mental health treatment. 
Jeffrey Swanson, a medical sociologist at Duke 
University, points out that millions of Americans 
have some form of mental illness. How do you 
decide who's going to snap? "The vast majority 
of people with mental illness are not violent and 
never will be," Swanson says. "We can't go out 
and lock up all the socially awkward young men in 
the world." Jonathan Metzl, a sociologist who has 
studied mass shootings, says it's folly to believe that 
most mass shooters could be forced into involun- 
tary psychiatric treatment before they act. "There is 
no one diagnosis that's linked to mass shootings," 
he says, "so there's no psychiatric test that can pre- 
vent a mass shooting. They're very hard to predict." 


THE WEEK September 11, 2015 



FROM THE EDITORS OF 


THE WEEK. 


THE POWER OF HURRICANES 


HOW HURRICANES FORM 

TROPICAL TROPICAL HURRICANE 


THUNDERSTORM DEPRESSION STORM MAKES LANDFALL 



THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON HURRICANE WIND SCALE 







MINIMAL 

DAMAGE 


MODERATE EXCESSIVE 

DAMAGE DAMAGE 


EXTREME CATASTROPHIC 

DAMAGE DAMAGE 


THE DEADLIEST HURRICANES IN U.S. HISTORY 


1900 Great Galveston, Texas Category 4 
1928 Lake Okeechobee, Fla. 4 

2005 Katrina, La./Miss. 3 

1893 Sea Islands, S.C./Ga. 3 

1893 Cheniere Caminada, La. 4 

1881 Ga./S.C. 2 

1957 Audrey, La./Texas 4 

1935 Great Labor Day Hurricane, Fla. Keys 5 

1856 Last Island, La. 4 

1926 Miami Hurricane, Fla./Miss./Ala. 4 



8,000 deaths 



was the most active 
Atlantic hurricane 
season in recorded 
history. The list of 
official names was 
used up and six Greek 
letters were recruited 
to fill out the season. 


Researched and illustrated by Mike Rogalski/Eyewash 

Sources: NOAA, Atlantic Oceanographic Meterological Laboratory, eSchooltoday 



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14 NEWS 


Best columns: The U.S. 


The rise 
of the 

non-politician 

Jonathan Tobin 

CommentaryMagazine. com 


What Schilling 
learned about 
free speech 

Dean Obeidallah 

CNN.com 


America’s 
fear of 
immigrants 

Catherine Rampell 

The Washington Post 


“A lot of GOP voters don’t like politicians,” said Jonathan Tobin. 
That’s the clear message of a new Monmouth University poll of Iowa 
voters, which shows neurosurgeon Ben Carson drawing even with 
Donald Trump at 23 percent. The only current officeholder in the top 
four in Iowa is Sen. Ted Cruz, “who has spent his time in the Senate 
acting as if his goal were to blow the place up.” Every other Repub- 
lican is in single digits. Trump’s favorability ratings, meanwhile, are 
soaring in Iowa despite a campaign based on gratuitous insults — more 
evidence that voters are in a very angry mood. Now, “the presidency 
is not an entry-level job for someone entering public life,” and it’s 
possible that conservatives “who have a crush on the Donald or Dr. 
Carson will soon think better of it.” But it’s also possible that a critical 
chunk of the GOP electorate will refuse to trust and support anyone 
tied to the political system. If the Republican establishment “thinks 
that anger is going to disappear,” it has another big shock coming. 


Curt Schilling has just given America a lesson in free speech, said 
Dean Obeidallah. The former baseball star was suspended from his 
ESPN analyst’s role last week after tweeting an image of Hitler over- 
laid with the text “It’s said that only 5-10 percent of Muslims are ex- 
tremists. In 1940, only 7 percent of Germans were Nazis. How’d that 
go?” Schilling’s comparison of the religion of Islam, now practiced by 
1.5 billion people, to the evil ideology of Nazism was “fearmonger- 
ing at its worst.” Yet many defenders of the opinionated Schilling 
are claiming that ESPN violated his free speech — that he’s a victim of 
“political correctness run amok.” In a subsequent mea culpa. Schilling 
corrected that view: “Eree speech,” he said, “doesn’t mean freedom 
from consequences,” adding that he had “no one to blame but my- 
self.” This is an important distinction. The Eirst Amendment protects 
speech from government censorship or punishment. But if you make 
hateful statements about Muslims, blacks, Jews, gays, women, etc., 
your employer is free to say, “We don’t want to be associated with 
such bigotry.” Eree speech can, and often does, have a price. 


Donald Trump is hardly the first prominent American to fan the 
flames of anti-immigrant hysteria, said Catherine Rampell. “The 
embarrassing truth is that the U.S. has always been hostile to im- 
migrants,” with a nativist tradition dating back to the bounding 
Eathers. Today, we romanticize Ellis Island as “a welcoming ward for 
generations of dreamers,” but it was set up as an outpost of border 
control, to weed out undesirables. In the 1880s, while Emma Lazarus 
was penning her sonnet “The New Colossus,” now carved on the 
Statue of Liberty, Congress was passing the Chinese Exclusion Act to 
keep yellow hordes from “polluting American culture” and stealing 
American jobs. In the mid-19th century an entire political party — the 
Know-Nothings — sprang from a fear of “morally and racially infe- 
rior” German and Irish Catholics flooding into the country. In retro- 
spect, it’s amazing that nativists of past eras repeatedly warned that 
we didn’t have room to absorb the waves of Irish, Italian, German, 
Polish, Jewish, and Asian immigrants, and that their arrival would 
destroy America’s “white” culture. Unfortunately, our national motto 
has always been: “After me, no more, please.” 


Viewpoint 


"For most of [Hillary] Clinton's political career, she has been playing defense. 
Sometimes she's had to defend herself from critical barrages amid scandal: 
Whitewater and the Rose Law Firm records straight through to Benghazi and the email server. Other 
times she's had to endure emotional and media exposures sparked by her husband's escapades. 

This defensive posture has given her, at least in public, an embattled combative posture. In her cam- 
paign speeches she describes a political, economic, and global world that is red in tooth and claw. 
The main traits required to survive in this struggle against the contemptible foes are tenacity, tough- 
ness, and calculation. The defining verb in her political campaign is 'fight.' Next to Michael Dukakis', 
it is the least romantic, poetic, and uplifting Democratic campaign in decades." 

David Brooks in The New York Times 


It must be true... 

I read it in the tabloids 


■ A California man who 
posed for a selfie with a 
rattlesnake ended up in the 
hospital after the venomous 
reptile bit him on the hand. 
Alex Gomez, 36, found the 
snake in his backyard and 
posed for a picture with the 
rattler wrapped around his 
neck. But when he tried to 
adjust the snake for another 
shot, it sank its fangs into 
him. Gomez's mother shared 
his selfies with local media, 
ignoring her son's pleas not 
to publicly shame him. "I'm 
going to teach him a real 
good lesson," said Deborah 
Gomez. "No mercy for him." 



■ Madonna is "going 
all-out" to win back ex- 
husband Sean Penn, 
said RadarOnline 
.com. The pop star 
was "hooking up" 
with Penn— with 
whom she had 
a tempestuous 
marriage in the 
1980s— last year, said 
a source. So she was 
devastated when the 
actor became involved 
with actress Charlize 
Theron. But following 
that couple's recent split. 
Madonna, 57, resumed 
wooing Penn, 55, sending 
him suggestive messages. 
"Madonna adores Sean and 
would give anything to have 
another shot at love with 
him," said the source. 


■ A growing number of weal- 
thy New York City women are 
having Botox injected into 
their scalps so sweat doesn't 
ruin their hairdos.The $1,500 
treatment, known as Blow- 
tox, involves about 200 Botox 
injections across the scalp. 
The injections stop nerves 
from activating sweat glands, 
so a Blowtoxed woman can 
sweat up a storm at the gym, 
and emerge with her hair still 
looking perfectly blow-dried. 
"It's common for SoulCycle 
people," said derma- 
tologist Dr. Patricia Wexler. 
"SoulCycle is infamous for 
killing the hair." 


THE WEEK September 11, 2015 





Best columns: Europe NEWS 15 


UNITED KINGDOM 


Squandering 
our gains 
in Afghanistan 

Kenny Farquharson 

The Times 


The British pullout from Afghanistan was a be- 
trayal of our Afghan allies and our own troops, 
said Kenny Farquharson. Last week we heard 
news that Musa Qala, a town wrested from the 
Taliban by British troops, had fallen to them 
again. When I was embedded with British forces 
there in 2008, the Taliban “displayed the severed 
heads of local men they considered collabora- 
tors” in the town’s center. I can’t help but wonder 
how many of the Afghans I met will now suffer 
a similar fate, and whether the 20 British soldiers 
who died fighting there did so in vain. It’s clear 
that Prime Minister David Cameron’s decision to 


withdraw U.K. combat troops last year reflected 
public will, but that makes it no less “shameful.” 
Afghanistan went from having 150,000 interna- 
tional troops to just 12,000 this year, and Afghan 
forces weren’t ready to fill the void. The resulting 
Taliban resurgence shows the terrible waste of 
our and our allies’ efforts. Britain’s involvement in 
Iraq “was a disaster,” but our Afghan campaign 
didn’t have to be. Had we held on a little longer, 
we could have cleared a space “for a new democ- 
racy to take root.” Our abandonment of the field 
“leaves a stench worse than a dead dog left out to 
rot in the Afghan sun.” 


FRANCE 


How terror 
turns us into 
jingoists 

Jim Jarrasse 

Le Figaro 


French President Francois Hollande is starting to 
sound a lot like George W. Bush, said Jim Jarrasse, 
When he presented the Legion d’honneur last 
week to three American heroes who helped foil a 
terrorist attack on a Paris-bound train, Hollande 
used the same simplistic, black-and-white terms 
we associate with American neoconservatives. He 
said the Americans were the incarnation of good, 
and had fought “in defense of freedom” against 
“the evil called terrorism.” One might be tempted 
to attribute this jingoism to the “fact of his being 
surrounded by American citizens” and trying to 
impress them. But bellicose rhetoric has been 


creeping into the president’s speeches ever since 
the January attacks in Paris on the Charlie Hebdo 
offices and a Jewish market. Hollande now says, 
for example, that he wants to “eradicate” terror- 
ists. True, he doesn’t name a specific country or 
countries, as Bush did in his “axis of evil” speech, 
and he doesn’t even specify Islamic terrorism. But 
the subtext is clear. Hollande’s prime minister, 
Manuel Vails, has even referred to a “war of civi- 
lizations,” implicitly pitting French society against 
Islam. Bush used such rhetoric “to mentally pre- 
pare people for armed conflict in Iraq.” What 
does Hollande have in store? 


Germany: A violent backlash against migrants 


“Rage is in the air” in Germany, said 
Melanie Amann in Der Spiegel (Ger- 
many). Protests against the surging 
numbers of fleeing Syrians, Iraqis, and 
others seeking asylum here are becoming 
increasingly violent, with authorities re- 
cording more than 200 attacks on refugee 
homes nationwide this year. The backlash 
against migrants is felt most fiercely in 
the poorer former East Germany. When 
Chancellor Angela Merkel, herself from 
the east, recently visited a refugee shelter 
in the eastern town of Heidenau, hissing 
protesters called her a “race traitor.” But those angry protesters 
do not represent the majority of Germans. Even as thugs burn 
down and vandalize migrant homes, thousands of ordinary Ger- 
mans are behaving “more generously than ever before,” donat- 
ing clothing and toys, volunteering at shelters, and organizing 
soccer clubs for refugee children. President Joachim Gauck says 
these different responses represent the choice between “bright 
Germany” and “dark Germany.” Which will prevail? 


leaders is not pious grandstanding but 
frank admission that we have a prob- 
lem. We must make hard choices about 
who can stay and who must leave — or 
more Germans will heed the call of the 
far right. 

Germany can’t make those choices 
until it shakes off its post-World War II 
mindset, said Thomas Isler in the Neue 
Zurcher Zeitung (Switzerland). Authori- 
ties are still fearful that a far-right, neo- 
Nazi party could grab power, and so 
refuse to make space for any political discourse to the right of 
Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats. “Anyone who is du- 
bious about the European Union, or opposed to the euro, or has 
doubts about immigration” is now immediately branded an ex- 
tremist. Other countries have “domesticated the right wing” by 
allowing right-wing parties to participate in policy debates. For 
Germans, any talk against immigration is effectively taboo — and 
that means even reasonable people are pushed to the fringes. 



A planned shelter burns in southern Germany. 


What an unfair characterization, said Jasper von Altenbockum 
in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Germany). Is every 
opponent of unfettered immigration to be demonized as some 
kind of cruel-hearted monster? That is no way to fight prejudice 
against migrants — instead, such rhetoric will only “harden the 
opposition.” At least 800,000 migrants are expected to arrive in 
Germany this year, and even more next year. Some of them are 
genuine asylum seekers, but many others just want to exploit 
Germany’s generous welfare system. What is needed from our 


Yet this xenophobia isn’t really a German problem — it’s an east- 
ern German problem, said Rudiger Scheidges in Handelsblatt 
(Germany). Only there “does a radical-right mob threaten 
migrants, politicians, and even police with appalling terroristic 
violence.” Political leaders in the east were silent for months 
as protests grew, and remained so even after the attacks began. 
They alone are to blame for the “new dividing line that has cut 
Germany” into two parts: one where desperate refugees are 
welcomed and one where they are abused. 


THE WEEK September 11, 2015 






16 NEWS Best columns: International 


How they see us: Ignoring Australia’s gun control lessons 


Australia is a “shining example” of 
how well gun control can work, said 
Emma Reynolds in News.com.au. In 
the wake of the latest appalling pub- 
lic shooting in the U.S., in which a 
disgruntled former TV reporter killed 
two journalists live on air, Ameri- 
cans “are clamoring for changes to 
the country’s gun laws.” And they 
are looking to Australia, a country 
that in many ways is like the U.S., 
with its immigrant population and 
independent-minded, cowboy culture. 

Yet unlike the U.S., Australia has one 
of the lowest gun death rates in the 
developed world. Our government bravely took on Australia’s 
gun lobby in 1996, after an AR- 15 -wielding gunman massacred 
35 people in a Tasmanian cafe. Horrified, Parliament banned 
semiautomatic weapons, bought back newly prohibited fire- 
arms from existing owners, and demanded detailed background 
checks and 2 8 -day waiting periods for all gun purchases. Since 
then, Australia has not had a single mass shooting. Could a ban 
and buyback program work in the United States? 

Probably not, said Victoria Craw, also in News.com.au. Aus- 
tralia destroyed some 661,000 guns in 1996. An equivalent 
program for the U.S. today would entail the buying back and 
melting down of 40 million guns, something the National Rifle 
Association would never allow. The NRA is one of the most 
powerful civil rights organizations in the U.S., dedicated to pro- 
tecting “the notorious Second Amendment” to the U.S. Consti- 


tution, which guarantees the right to 
bear arms. The NRA will spend any 
sum to destroy politicians who op- 
pose it. The result is a wimpish U.S. 
Congress that refused to tighten gun 
control laws even after a mentally 
ill young man used a semiautomatic 
assault rifle to slaughter 20 first- 
graders at Sandy Hook Elementary 
School in Connecticut in 2012. 

Don’t blame the NRA — ordinary 
Americans love their guns, said Dan- 
iel Eallon in The Sydney Morning 
Herald. About one-third of them 
own firearms, and many who don’t nevertheless “equate gun 
ownership with freedom.” We Australians responded to a single 
tragedy by saying nobody should have the right to inflict mass 
casualties, yet “the staggering fact is that the more mass shoot- 
ings there are in the U.S., the more gun sales go up in response.” 

Let’s not get too smug, said Lenore Taylor in The Guardian (U.K.). 
While we Australians have been “basking in international accla- 
mation,” our gun lobby “has been quietly scratching away at 
the restrictions.” Four states have scrapped the 28-day waiting 
period for purchases of second and third firearms. And the gov- 
ernment has backtracked on a proposal to ban a new hybrid 
import that can fire seven shots in rapid succession but because 
of a technicality doesn’t fall under the original ban. “Australia’s 
gun control debate is igniting again,” and this time, we can’t be 
sure which side will win. 



Australia bought back and destroyed 661,000 guns in 1996. 


RUSSIA 


What happens 
when the rubles 
run out? 

Vladimir Ryzhkov 

The Moscow Times 


Why do Russians love President Vladimir Putin 
so? asked Vladimir Ryzhkov. Much is made of 
his masterful control of propaganda and the way 
he portrays himself as a shirtless superhero, and 
there’s no discounting the nationalistic pride Putin 
inspired by annexing Crimea. But the real secret to 
his popularity is “the unprecedented prosperity” 
Russians have achieved under his 16-year rule. 
Russians remember “the squalor of Soviet life,” 
with its constant shortages, as well as “the poverty 
and chaos” of the post-Soviet period. The Putin 
era, by contrast, has been a time of rising incomes, 
easily obtainable loans, and shelves groaning with 


consumer goods — a true “economic miracle” 
made possible by soaring oil revenues. Some ana- 
lysts say Russians have never had it so good in 
their country’s entire 1,000-year history. But now 
the good times are coming to an end. For the past 
few years, Russia has been sliding from recession 
to recession. Oil prices have tanked, and gold 
and currency reserves have evaporated. Average 
monthly salaries are half what they were just two 
years ago. Will Russians begin demonstrating? 
Putin has never yet had to deal with the anger of 
the hungry Russian mob. Will he respond “with 
greater repression”? Will they love him then? 


ISRAEL 


Opposing 
the Iran deal 
is pointless 

Ben-DrorYemini 

Yedioth Ahronoth 


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was 
right to oppose President Obama’s Iran deal, said 
Ben-Dror Yemini, but he is wrong to continue op- 
posing it. Does that sound counterintuitive? The 
key lies in the difference between being right and 
being smart. The Iran deal was a “capitulation” 
by a democratic superpower to a country ruled by 
“a small, backward minority” of theocrats. Iran 
may be set back slightly in its nuclear efforts, but 
it is not thwarted entirely. It will continue spon- 
soring terrorist groups and holding rallies where 
mobs shout “Death to America, death to Israel.” 
But to continue to call for the U.S. Congress to 


block the deal is pointless, because other Western 
countries have already lifted their sanctions and 
are sending trade delegations to meet with the 
regime. The money is flowing. Recruiting Demo- 
cratic senators to vote against the deal won’t 
hurt Iran but will divide American Jewry. At this 
point, Netanyahu needs to let go of his ego and 
consider Israel’s national interests. The deal is bad, 
but given that it’s done, we “need to cooperate 
with the American administration to minimize 
the damage.” Instead, Netanyahu is pushing the 
diplomatic crisis between Israel and the U.S. to a 
place of “unfathomable hostility.” 


THE WEEK September 11, 2015 









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18 NEWS 


Noted 


■ About 14,770 people 
were killed as a result of 
workplace violence be- 
tween 1992 and 2012— an 
average of 700 people a 
year. Shootings account 
for the vast majority of 
workplace homicides. 
CNN.com 

■ About 41 percent of 
the U.S. military's female 
personnel, and 4 percent 
of its male personnel, say 
they have suffered some 
form of sexual harassment 
in the armed forces. About 
9 percent of the women 
say they were physically 
assaulted. 

Reuters 



■ A record 107,500 mi- 
grants reached Europe's 
borders in July, and 70,000 
arrived in June. In 2014, 
there were only 280,000 
registered arrivals over the 
entire year. Nearly half of 
this year's migrants are 
refugees fleeing the Syrian 
civil war. 

BBC.com 

■ For the first time, more 
than 1 billion people— 
roughly 1 out of every 7 
people on earth — logged 
on to Facebook in a single 
day last week. 

Slate.com 

■ The membership of Ash- 
ley Madison, the adultery 
website that was recently 
hacked, is overwhelmingly 
male. An analysis of the 
leaked data reveals that 

at least 31.3 million of the 
37 million accounts belong 
to men. Most of the online 
"conversations" men 
had with potential female 
hook-ups were actually with 
"bots"— automated com- 
puter programs set up by 
the company to fool them. 
Gizmodo.com 


Talking points 

Topless in Times Square: Sign of moral decay? 


“Times Square is not going to 
hell,” said The New York Times 
in an editorial. But you wouldn’t 
know it from New York City’s 
war on “desnudas,” a group of 
topless women who paint their 
breasts red, white, and blue and 
pose for photos with tourists in 
exchange for tips. New York law 
permits both men and women 
to go shirtless, and peaceful pan- 
handling is constitutionally pro- 
tected free speech. But that hasn’t 
stopped critics from exploding 
“into a righteous fury.” Blaring New York City 
tabloids warn that Times Square is regressing to 
the X-rated decadence of the 1970s. In response 
to the new scourge. Mayor Bill de Blasio soberly 
formed a toplessness task force and offered a 
drastic solution: Eliminating the pedestrian plazas 
where desnudas operate. Those plazas are “a 
national model for how to reclaim cities from 
cars,” said Emily Badger in The Washington 
Post. Do we really need to take such a drastic 
step to protect the public from a few boobs? 

Times Square is “a place where families bring 
their children,” said theater industry spokes- 
women Victoria Bailey and Charlotte St. Martin 
in the New York Daily News. Most visitors do 


not want to be “approached by an 
aggressive naked lady demanding 
money for a photo.” Claims that 
these women are “just engaging in 
artistic expression” are nonsense. 
They’re hustlers. New York City’s 
strong opposition to the desnudas 
“is a sign of cultural health,” said 
Reihan Salam in NationalReview 
.com. Breasts are “a symbol of the 
sexual intimacy that is so central 
to love,” but they’ve been devalued 
by a culture that commodifies and 
cheapens sex. People are objecting 
to nudity in Times Square because of “a gut-level 
rejection of the notion that sex is just another 
physical recreation.” 

Breasts have long held “a special horror” for 
guardians of morality, said Reg Henry in the Pitts- 
burgh Post-Gazette.com. A century ago, when 
women went to the beach, they were required to 
look “like seagoing Amish,” lest men glimpse too 
much of their breasts. When the bikini appeared 
in the 1960s, “predictions of moral doom thun- 
dered like the surf. The breasts are coming!” Now 
tiny bikinis are acceptable in public, even though 
just “a wisp of material” covers the breasts. “The 
difference between morality and depravity is an 
absurd game of inches.” 



Bush: Battered by Trump’s bullying 


Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign “appears to 
be in free fall,” said John Cassidy in NewYorker 
.com. The former Florida governor has now 
dropped to third in national polls, with support 
in just the single digits. Every week. Bush and 
his team seem to be “walking back” one of his 
many verbal gaffes, on everything from “phasing 
out Medicare” to “anchor babies.” And now 
even his moneymen are getting nervous: Three 
top national fundraisers left the campaign last 
week. Front-runner Donald Trump is making 
Bush “seem like a wimp,” said Peter Beinart in 
TheAtlantic.com. The billionaire businessman 
is bullying him almost daily, knowing full well 
that Bush — who has a Mexican wife and calls 
his children Hispanic — must be enraged by his 
ugly rhetoric about Mexican immigrants. But 
Trump has correctly calculated that Bush is too 
scared of upsetting the GOP’s base to stick up 
for immigrants. So all he can say is that deport- 
ing 11.5 million Hispanics is “unrealistic” — thus 
proving Trump’s claim that Bush is a “weak” 
and “low-energy” candidate. 

Belatedly, Bush has decided to fight back, said 
Jennifer Rubin in WashingtonPost.com. Bush 
released an attack ad this week tearing Trump 


apart for his faux-conservatism, with old clips 
of the real estate tycoon describing himself as 
“very pro-choice,” endorsing single-payer health- 
care schemes and high taxes, and calling Hillary 
Clinton “very talented.” Bush never wanted to 
“get into a food fight with Trump,” said Jeremy 
Diamond in CNN.com. His original strategy was 
to stay above the fray and act as the adult in the 
room. But with the “brash billionaire” showing 
no signs of fading. Bush has little choice. 

Yes he does, said David Frum in TheAtlantic 
.com. Trump is hurting Bush, but he’s doing even 
bigger damage to Bush’s establishment rivals 
Scott Walker and Marco Rubio, by denying 
them valuable attention and keeping them from 
building any momentum. Unlike Bush, they have 
thin donor support, and if Trump continues to 
dominate, their campaigns could wither. Bush’s 
smartest strategy is to lie low until the primaries 
in January and wait for the party to rally behind 
him as the only plausible alternative to Trump. 
Remember: Bush has “many points of vulnerabil- 
ity: personal, familial, financial.” Trump “is not 
playing by the usual rules,” and if Bush tries to 
take him down, the Donald may say anything to 
get revenge — and take Jeb down with him. 


THE WEEK September 11, 2015 


Getty, AP 





Talking points 


Frat banners: The campus rape divide 


“What a friendly greeting,” 
said Sharon Grigsby in Dallas 
MomingNews.com. When 
incoming female freshmen 
arrived last week at Old 
Dominion University in 
Norfolk, Va., they and their 
families were welcomed by 
giant banners hanging from a 
house of Sigma Nu fraternity members that read: 
“Freshman daughter drop-off,” with an arrow 
pointing to the front door. Another banner read: 
“Rowdy and fun. Hope your baby girl is ready 
for a good time.” One can only imagine “how 
many kegs of beer” the frat bros chugged before 
creating their “glaringly dumb” banners, said 
Emily Shire in TheDailyBeast.com. By mocking 
concerns about campus rape culture, they fed 
into the “growing perception of fraternities as a 
breeding ground for boorish, misogynistic sexual 
predators.” Not surprisingly, the university’s pres- 
ident immediately suspended the frat, declaring 
there is “zero tolerance on this campus for sexual 
assault and sexual harassment.” 

As a free-speech proponent, said Robby Soave in 
Reason.com, I’m used to arguing that the First 
Amendment protects even the most offensive 
speech, like neo-Nazis marching through Jew- 
ish neighborhoods. But “in this case, I struggle 


to grasp what was even 
so monstrous about the 
banners.” Yes, they were 
immature and crass, but no 
one was being threatened 
or personally harassed. 

Old Dominion is acting as 
if young men who confess 
their desire for sex “are 
guilty of some kind of crime.” Did you ever see 
the classic 1978 comedy Animal House? asked 
Mollie Hemingway in TheFederalist.com. Sigma 
Nu’s sophomoric little stunt could have come 
straight from that film, which is widely ranked as 
one of the funniest movies ever. To equate Sigma 
Nu’s signs with rape “shows a lack of under- 
standing about the seriousness of that particular 
act of violence.” 

What’s missing from this furor is “a sense of 
proportion,” said Conor Friedersdorf in The 
Atlantic.com. Yes, it’s unfortunate that arriving 
first-year students were greeted “by signs treating 
them as sexual objects.” But stigmatizing Sigma 
Nu’s frat members “as possible rapist pariahs” 
and suspending their frat is a massive overreac- 
tion. In the end, crackdowns on forbidden speech 
do nothing to make campuses safer, and only 
“alienate a portion of the public that tires of 
exaggerated outrage.” 



Not funny, guys 


‘Rentboy’: Should prostitution be legal? 


What “a peculiar prosecution,” said The New 
York Times in an editorial. The Department of 
Homeland Security last week shut down the gay 
escort service Rentboy.com and arrested its CEO 
and six other employees, charging them with 
enabling prostitution and running “an internet 
brothel.” But why is a gay-sex site that has “oper- 
ated in plain sight for two decades” suddenly a 
priority for Homeland Security, an agency that 
supposedly devotes its resources to “protecting 
America from terrorists”? This “was a bizarre, 
unprovoked crackdown,” said Jay Michaelson in 
TheDailyBeast.com. There are no exploited vic- 
tims in Rentboy’s business model, in which there 
are no pimps or other middlemen and every- 
thing’s consensual. Escorts set their hours, clients, 
and fees, and Rentboy charges only to post list- 
ings. The sudden, selective prosecution is clearly 
a crackdown on “male sex work specifically,” 
which is “none of the government’s business.” 

The bust demonstrates why prostitution, gay or 
straight, “should be legal,” said Hayley Goren- 
berg and Harper Jean Tobin in MSNBC.com. 

The Rentboy raid comes just two weeks after 
Amnesty International endorsed full decriminal- 
ization of the sex industry, declaring that legal- 


izing the trade is the best way to protect workers’ 
rights and safety. Rentboy “provided a safer place 
for escorts to meet and screen clients.” Criminal- 
izing such exchanges only drives sex work under- 
ground and puts sex workers “at higher risk for 
violence and coercion.” 

The decriminalization movement is “well- 
intentioned but wrong,” said The Washington 
Post. Some sex work is indeed consensual, but 
“the vast majority” of sex workers are young 
women and men who sell their bodies out of des- 
peration. Legalizing prostitution would let pimps 
“operate with impunity” and scale up trafficking 
operations of teens. I know that firsthand, said 
Rachel Lloyd in NYTimes.com. As a teenager, “I 
worked in Germany’s legal sex industry.” Most of 
us had “histories of trauma and abuse,” answered 
to pimps, and used “copious amounts of alcohol 
and drugs to get through each night.” Amster- 
dam, long touted as a model of legal prostitution, 
has devolved into “an enormous hub of traf- 
ficking and exploitation.” To help sex workers, 
authorities should treat them as victims and focus 
on traffickers and johns. “Sanctioning an industry 
that preys upon some of the most marginalized 
individuals in our society isn’t the answer.” 


NEWS 19 


Wit& 

Wisdom 

"Integrity needs no rules." 
Albert Camus, quoted in 
the Associated Press 

"The world is full of 
magic things, patiently 
waiting for our senses 
to grow sharper." 

W.B. Yeats, quoted in 
Maclean's (Canada) 

"Heaven goes by favor. 

If it went by merit, you 
would stay out and your 
dog would go in." 

Mark Twain, quoted in 
The Wall Street Journal 

"Learn what is to be 
taken seriously and laugh 
at the rest." 
Hermann Hesse, quoted 
in the Monroe, N.C., 
Enquirer Journal 

"If you have a job without 
any aggravations, you 
don't have a job." 
Malcolm Forbes, quoted in 
BookReporter. com 

"Reading is socially 
accepted disassociation. 

You flip a switch and 
you're not there anymore. 

It's better than heroin." 
Memoirist Mary Karr, quoted 
in TheBrowser.com 

"When people die, 
they cannot be replaced. 
They leave holes that can- 
not be filled, for it is the 
fate— the genetic and neu- 
ral fate— of every human 
being to be a unique 
individual, to find his own 
path, to live his own life, to 
die his own death." 
Oliver Sacks, quoted in 
The New York Times 


Poll watch 

■ 36% of Americans think 
that the most effective 
way to prevent shootings 
is for more citizens to 
carry guns for protection. 
46% think gun-control 
laws are more effective. 
Huffington Post/YouGov 

■ 71% of American voters 
are dissatisfied with the 
way things are going in the 
U.S. today, including 41% 
who are "very dissatisfied." 
Quinnipiac University 


THE WEEK September 11, 2015 


20 NEWS 


Technology 


YouTube: Online gaming as spectator sport 


“If you’ve never watched a video of 
somebody chatting, shrieking, and curs- 
ing as they play a video game,” you’re 
increasingly alone, said Joan E. Solsman 
in CNET.com. As curious as it might 
seem, millions of people spend a lot 
of time online watching other people 
play video games. Half of YouTube’s 
top 100 channels are gaming-focused, 
generating billions of monthly views, 
and top stars like Felix “PewDiePie” 

Kjellberg command seven-figure earn- 
ings from ads and sponsorship deals. 

Recognizing that this unlikely spectator sport has become a 
massive business, Google last week launched YouTube Gaming, 
a website and app dedicated exclusively to video game content. 
Some videos “replicate the experience of sitting in a living room 
watching a friend play,” while other channels stream live play, 
“be it a tournament at a stadium full of people or a single per- 
sonality broadcasting for a 12-hour stretch.” 

Live gaming is exactly where the “big battle is brewing in the 
video game streaming field,” said Chris Morris in Fortune.com. 
YouTube currently has the edge in prerecorded video, but com- 
petitor Twitch, which Amazon bought last year for $1 billion, 
dominates the live-streaming gaming market. Twitch’s 100 mil- 
lion monthly viewers each tune in for an average of 106 minutes 


per day. Last month, during two big 
events in the world of professional 
gaming. Twitch hit 2 million concur- 
rent streams of video, a new peak. 

YouTube might have a hard time 
poaching gamers from Twitch, said 
G. Clay Whittaker in Popular Science. 
Twitch currently offers professional 
streamers more ways to make money, 
including ads, monthly subscriptions, 
and paid tips to other gamers; YouTube’s 
ad-based model only rewards views. 
YouTube also isn’t supported by big gaming consoles like Xbox 
and PlayStation, which offer built-in support for Twitch. But top 
gamers still stand to gain as Twitch and YouTube vie for their 
allegiance. “We may be seeing the dawn of exclusivity contracts 
and gaming superstars within the next few months.” 

What will be interesting for nongamers is whether YouTube 
takes its new gaming model to other kinds of entertainment, 
said Adi Robertson in TheVerge.com. YouTube Gaming’s inter- 
face is “much slicker” and better organized than Twitch’s, and 
it has a more extensive library of trending and featured content 
for further exploration. “It’s enough to make you wonder if 
similar rebranding efforts might be coming” to other popular 
pockets of YouTube soon. 



Innovation of the week 



Most modern cars 
come equipped with 
a full suite of digital 
tools, but some 
150 million vehicles 
on the road aren't 
connected 
at all. The 
good news: 

It doesn't 
take much 
to convert 
that clunker 

you're driving into a smart car, said 
Jordan Golson in Wired. Venzon's 
newly launched Hum is a small 
device that plugs into a vehicle's 
onboard diagnostic port. It collects 
and analyzes data on fuel economy, 
battery charge level, engine error 
codes, and more. If something 
seems off. Hum will alert you via 
smartphone app and a speaker 
clipped to your visor, recommend- 
ing repairs and even estimating 
costs. "Should something go 
kablooey," Hum offers OnStar-like 
roadside assistance and will call 
you after an accident to make sure 
you're OK. The service costs $15 a 
month, hardware included. 


Bytes: What's new in tech 

Airline Wi-Fi gets less terrible 

In-flight Wi-Fi is about to get a lot faster, said 
Brian Fung in The Washington Post. Gogo, 
which commands 80 percent of the in-flight 
internet market, has received approval from 
the Federal Aviation Administration to roll out 
a new technology called 2Ku that could make 
download speeds up to 20 times faster. Unlike 
the air-to-ground connections that currently 
power in-flight internet using earthbound cell 
towers, 2Ku routes internet traffic through 
orbiting satellites. That connection will still 
be shared with your fellow passengers, “so 
it’s not like you’ll be getting exactly the same 
speeds you might at home,” but it should still 
be a major improvement over Gogo’s infa- 
mously sluggish Wi-Fi. “The only question is 
whether customers will be expected to pay a 
premium to access these speeds.” 

Uber mimics public transit 

Uber is testing its own version of a bus ser- 
vice in San Francisco, said Johana Bhuiyan 
in BuzzFeed.com. A new ride option called 
Smart Routes allows passengers to request 
carpooled rides from Uber drivers on two spe- 
cific routes: Fillmore Street between Haight 
and Bay streets, and Valencia Street between 
15th and 26th streets. “It’s not exactly door- 


to-door service,” since people need to walk 
to a Smart Route to catch their rides. But in 
exchange for sacrificing a little convenience, 
riders gain a discount, with Uber knocking off 
$1 from each trip. The worry for Uber drivers 
is that Smart Routes could cut into fares, but 
the company insists the program will actually 
boost efficiency, allowing drivers to pick up 
more passengers per hour. 

Sad days for Angry Birds 

The maker of Angry Birds is in a tailspin, 
said Jens Hansegard and Liis Kangsepp in 
The Wall Street Journal. Finland-based Rovio 
Entertainment plans to cut its 670-person 
workforce by a third, in a sign of “the fragile 
business model of mobile-game makers.” 

Most game makers rely on breakout hits to 
drive profits, as many film studios do. Rovio 
“struck gold” with Angry Birds when it 
launched in 2009, eventually building an en- 
tertainment brand, with birds “on everything 
from soft drinks to hooded sweatshirts.” But 
Angry Birds’ popularity has since faded, and 
profits with it. Consumers have gravitated to- 
ward free-to-play games with in-app purchases 
like Candy Crush and Clash of Clans. Rovio 
is now “pinning its hopes” on the Angry Birds 
movie, due out in May. 


THE WEEK September 11, 2015 




HS (3) 


Health & Science 


NEWS 21 


Monster El Nino brewing 


As this year's massive El Nino intensi- 
fies in the Pacific Ocean, climatologists 
say the phenomenon may become the 
strongest ever recorded and could cause 
dramatic changes in the weather. "This 
definitely has the potential of being the 
Godzilla El Nino," NASA's Bill Patzert tells 
LATimes.com. El Nino occurs when water 
in the tropical Pacific becomes unusually 
warm as trade winds weaken or reverse 
direction, altering the storm track over 
North America and other parts of the 
world. In the U.S., El Nino might bring 
much wetter conditions, which could be 
a mixed blessing. In drought-parched 
California, torrential rains could cause 



Attention deficit 


Smartphone distraction 

People who incessantly check their smart- 
phones and surf the web are more likely 
to be forgetful, have trouble focusing, and 
lack awareness of their surroundings — even 
when they aren’t fixated on the internet, 
a new study finds. Constantly staring at a 
mobile device or obsessively trolling social 
media sites may usurp precious brain 
resources necessary for performing routine 
tasks, resulting in these “cognitive failures,” 
British researchers say. Their study involved 
210 men and women between 18 and 65 
who spent an average of 23 hours online 
each week. The more participants browsed 
the web, reports HuffingtonPost.com, the 
more likely they were to make a range 
of blunders — bumping into things, for 
example, or forgetting why they’d walked 
from one room to another. These find- 
ings don’t prove that smartphones them- 
selves cause attention lapses, but people 
prone to distraction may do well to take 
a technology time-out and fight the urge 
to check Facebook, Tinder, or their email. 
“The internet is great, mobile phones are 
great,” says the study’s lead author, Lee 
Hadlington. “But there is a point at which 
we need to sit back, log off, and really start 
to think about how technology is impacting 
on our capacity to focus.” 


"mudslides and mayhem," Patzert says, 
but would also bring desperately needed 
water to rivers and reservoirs; the record 
1997-98 El Nino, for example, doubled 
the snowpack in the Sierra Nevada moun- 
tains, a crucial source of the state's water 
supply. The eastern U.S. would see less 
storm activity in the Atlantic, meaning 
fewer hurricanes and a milder winter, 
with rainstorms instead of blizzards. A 
warm winter could also prove a boon to 
crops in the Midwest— an International 
Monetary Fund study said the 1997-98 
event added $15 billion to the U.S. 
economy. Other areas of the globe might 
not fare so well. Indonesia and Australia 

From pebbles to giant planets 

The largest planets in our solar system may 
have started out as mere pebbles. New 
research suggests that the gas giants Jupiter, 
Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune likely owe 
their existence to bits of rock as small as a 
centimeter in diameter, created 4.5 billion 
years ago from dust and ice swirling around 
the newly formed sun. Using computer sim- 
ulations, astronomers tested the theory that 
these small rock particles rapidly melded 
to form the molten cores of those planets, 
in a process known as pebble accretion. 
The planets grew larger and larger by gob- 
bling up the tiny building blocks while 
their gravitational fields nudged smaller 
planets out of the way. “It’s kind of a runt- 
of-the-litter thing,” the study’s lead author, 
Harold Levison, tells Nature.com “The runt 
is pushed aside by its bigger siblings so that 
they grow, and it doesn’t.” The findings 
challenge an existing theory that the gas 
giants formed through collisions between 
more massive rocks of about a half-mile 
in diameter. Now researchers are studying 
whether the new theory might apply to ter- 
restrial planets, including Earth and Mars. 
Says Levison, “It really is a paradigm shift 
for how planets form.” 

A universal flu vaccine? 

Researchers are closing in on an influ- 
enza vaccine that would offer long-term 
protection against all strains of the virus. 
Currently, health officials scramble to stay 
one step ahead of each year’s flu viruses, 
selecting a few predominant strains for a 
vaccine, as millions roll up their sleeves 
hoping they got it right. Losing this / 
high-stakes guessing game can mean / 
a lot more than two weeks of ^ 
misery for those at speci 
risk for flu-related com- 
plications, which kill as 




El Nino roils the seas off El Salvador. 


might dry out, adversely affecting the 
production of coffee, soybeans, and 
wheat. El Nino could also cripple the Latin 
American fishing industry, which relies on 
cold-water fish. For all of these reasons, 
Columbia University meteorologistTony 
Barnston says, "This is a really big deal." 

many as 36,000 people a year in the U.S. 
alone. Current flu vaccines target the head 
of a protein that sits on the surface of all flu 
viruses and helps them infect the body. This 
head constantly mutates, forcing immunol- 
ogists to reformulate the flu vaccine every 
year. The interior, or “stem,” of the protein, 
however, is consistent across different flu 
strains and rarely mutates. Two research 
teams have designed vaccines that target 
this stem to produce antibodies, though 
both vaccines must still be tested in human 
clinical trials, which will take several years. 
“This is a leap forward,” John Oxford, a 
flu expert at the University of London, tells 
BBC.com. “Ultimately, the hope is to get a 
vaccine that will cover a pandemic virus.” 

Health scare of the week: 
Rethinking the burger 

People might scoff at spending more for 
organic groceries, but when it comes to 
ground beef, it might be smart to fork over 
a few extra dollars. Consumer Reports 
researchers tested 300 packages of ground 
beef — equal to about 1,800 quarter- 
pounders — from 103 stores in 26 American 
cities. The results showed that convention- 
ally produced beef, made from cattle that 
are fed antibiotics and other drugs to boost 
growth and prevent disease, is twice as likely 
to contain drug-resistant superbugs as beef 
raised without drugs or in more sustainable 
ways, such as grass-fed and organic. The 
best weapon is a meat thermometer, food 
safety specialist Urvashi Rangan tells CBS 
News. The more thoroughly your burger 
is cooked, the safer it is. With a steak, the 
bacteria are on the surface; with ground 
beef, you’re grinding those surface patho- 
gens right in, Rangan says. “You’re really 
moving all that bacteria all around.” So it’s 
especially important to cook ground beef to 
160 degrees, “to be absolutely safe.” 


THE WEEK September 11, 2015 



22 NEWS 


Pick of the week’s cartoons 




THE WEEK September 11, 2015 


For more political cartoons, visit: www.theweek.com/cartoons. 



ARTS 

Review of reviews: Books 


23 


Book of the week 


The Biology of Desire: 

Why Addiction Is Not a Disease 

by Marc Lewis (PublicAffairs, $27) 

The scourge of addiction “threads through 
most of our lives,” said Laura Miller in 
Salon.com. An estimated 1 in 10 Amer- 
icans is alcohol or drug dependent, and 
anyone who doesn’t know someone in that 
group probably has a friend or relative 
who engages in some other form of com- 
pulsive, damaging behavior. For decades, 
members of the medical establishment 
promoted the idea that such people have 
a disease — a concept that helped defeat 
the harsh moralism that previously offered 
substance abusers only condemnation. 
Researchers eventually could point to MRI 
imagery showing profound physical dif- 
ferences between the brains of addicts and 
non-addicts. Recently, though, the same 
neuroscientists whose brain studies seemed 
to support the disease theory have begun 
tearing that theory down. Marc Lewis is 
one of them. He now argues that addiction 
is essentially ingrained habit. 



The destructive power of habit 


“That doesn’t mean addiction is a ‘choice’ — 
not exactly,” said Dan Falk in The Globe 
and Mail (Canada). Lewis, who wrote about 
his own struggle with drug dependency in 
Memoirs of an Addicted Brain, profiles five 
former addicts in The Biology of Desire, 
and he does so “with unblinking clarity, and 
with compassion.” We meet, among others, 
a respected nurse who got hooked on pain- 
killers and a promising college student who 
became a heroin user. In each story, Lewis, 
who is also a psychiatrist, refers to the brain 
mechanisms involved in transforming the 
satisfaction of a normal desire into a harm- 


Novel of the week 
Eileen 

by Ottessa Moshfegh (Penguin, $26) 

"Trust me, you have never read any- 
thing remotely like Eileen," said Patrick 
Anderson in The Washington Post. 
Ottessa Moshfegh's first full-length 
novel, set in 1964 suburban Boston, fo- 
cuses on a young prison secretary who 
has to be "one of the strangest, most 
messed-up, most pathetic— and yet, in 
her own inimitable way, endearing— 
misfits IVe encountered in fiction." 
Eileen narrates, detailing her supposed 
defects and the bizarre habits— like 
keeping a dead mouse in her car— that 
look to us like manifestations of her 
self-loathing. The co-worker whose 
arrival sets the suspenseful plot in mo- 
tion can't match Eileen's magnetism, 
said Lily King in The New York Times. 
Rebecca, a glamorous Harvard gradu- 
ate, inspires fanatical devotion in Eileen, 
but to the reader she "feels pasted in 
from another book." Fortunately, Mosh- 
fegh eventually returns her focus to 
Eileen, and the author's "morbid, witty, 
searingly sharp" sentences generate a 
thrilling tension: You'll want to "bathe 
in the language." But you'll also want to 
race ahead and see what happens. 


Voices in the Ocean: A Journey 
Into the Wild and Haunting 
World of Dolphins 

by Susan Casey (Doubleday, $28) 

Dolphins have long 
cast a spell on 
humankind, said 
Larissa Liepins in 
Maclean's (Canada). 
The ancient Greeks 
felt such an affinity 
with the creatures 
that they considered 
it a graver crime 
to kill a dolphin 
than to kill a slave. 
Author Susan Casey 
understands that sense of deep connection. 
She experienced it during a swim off Maui, 
when 40 to 50 playful, talkative spinner 
dolphins suddenly surrounded her and 
treated her like a companion. That moment, 
which rescued Casey from a bout of depres- 
sion, inspired her to spend two years getting 
to know dolphins better. They are, it turns 
out, “wrenchingly selfless animals,” said 
Sharon Peters in USA Today. In Casey’s 
“gorgeously written” latest best-seller, they 
also come across as “every bit the gregari- 
ous clowns we suppose them to be.” 



ful habit. The brain is changed by both 
the habit and whatever harmful substance 
becomes the focus of addiction, but as 
Lewis points out, the brain is always chang- 
ing. That leads to “the most interesting part 
of his argument”: the idea that what addicts 
need most is help in imagining a future free 
of their addiction. 

Unfortunately, Lewis has an “unsettling” 
tendency to romanticize addiction and 
recovery, said Marianne Szegedy-Maszak 
in The Washington Post. In his world, 
recovered addicts like himself are heroes 
who are more noble than people who’ve 
never battled addiction, because their 
suffering has granted them deep insight 
into human behavior. The terrible social 
costs of addiction are downplayed. The 
Biology of Desire does make complicated 
brain science accessible, and it’s “wonder- 
fully readable” when relating addiction 
case studies. But Lewis is so admiring of 
ex-addicts, and so “exhaustively repeti- 
tive” in denouncing the disease theory of 
addiction, that many a reader will close 
the book “with the sense of having spent a 
long evening in the company of a zealot.” 


“Maybe they’re overrated,” though, said 
Katherine Harmon Courage in The New 
York Times. Casey, author of a fascinating 
2010 book about rogue waves, too readily 
credits dolphins with far-out abilities. For 
a while, she’s on solid footing, describing 
how dolphins evolved from hoofed land 
creatures that returned to the sea and how 
their sonar system is so keen that it can 
distinguish between a sheet of copper and a 
sheet of aluminum. Soon enough, though, 
she’s lending credence to scientific hearsay 
and leaving preposterous claims unchal- 
lenged. At one point, she visits a Hawaiian 
commune whose residents believe that 
dolphins send them messages telepathically. 
By giving such fringe thinkers center stage, 
Casey “leaves the reader awash in plati- 
tudes and mysticism.” 

Casey doesn’t neglect “the dark side of 
humanity’s relationship with dolphins,” 
said Mary Bates in Slate.com. She visits 
a Japanese village where dolphins are 
rounded up and slaughtered once a year, 
then puts her life in jeopardy to learn about 
a similar massacre in the Solomon Islands. 
After such harrowing tales, it’s a relief when 
Casey returns to the theme of the special 
bond between humans and dolphins. Her 
“moving” writing “left me with some hope 
for a better future.” 


THE WEEK September 11, 2015 




The Book List 


24 ARTS 


Author of the week 


Barry Yourgrau 

Barry Yourgrau might be the 
proof that anyone can learn 
to let things go, said Rachel 
Martin in NPR.org. For years, 
the South African-born fic- 
tion writer filled his small 
Queens, NY., apartment with 
clutter. He accumulated travel 
souvenirs, 
dirty clothes, 
empty boxes, 
broken type- 
writers, and 
so many 
used plastic 
grocery bags 
that, in his 
words, "my place looked 
like a stage set for a Western 
involving tumbleweeds." 
Yourgrau was, in short, a 
hoarder. "In a funny way, I 
think the stuff was company," 
he says. "Not explicitly 
anthropomorphic, but it had 
just some sense of being 
companionship." Yet the 
stuff was also inhibiting more 
meaningful companionship: 
For years, he had to make 
sure his girlfriend never had 
a reason to enter his place. 
When she finally dropped in, 
she demanded that he clean 
up his act or lose her. 

Yourgrau's new memoir. 
Mess, recounts how he 
changed his ways, said 
Penelope Green in The New 
York Times. He attended 
Clutterers Anonymous meet- 
ings. He photographed his 
unruly piles as though they 
were art. He interviewed 
psychotherapists who spe- 
cialized in hoarding. And he 
reflected on the origins of his 
bad habits. Five years after 
his girlfriend's intervention, 
his apartment still houses 
many odd travel souvenirs, 
such as soccer club scarves 
and cocktail napkins. But 
those items are now neatly 
displayed, and the spare 
boxes and bags are gone. 

"I thought they'd be useful 
when I eventually tidied up 
my place," he says. He's since 
learned better. "If you need 
a box," he says, "you walk to 
the store and get it." 



Best books.. .chosen by Erica Jong 

Four decades after her Fear of Flying put a spotlight on female desire, Erica Jong has 
created a new novel with a 60-something heroine preoccupied with both sex and 
death. Below, Jong names the hooks that helped her as she tackled her Fear of Dying. 



The Body by Hanif Kureishi (Scribner, $12). This 
2002 novel is a fantasy about an aging man get- 
ting a new body. While writing Fear of Dying, I 
toyed with a similar plot but wasn’t happy with 
it. I realized that the most interesting thing about 
aging is the way our perception changes. There 
is wild humor in growing older — especially in a 
society that worships youth. 

The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy (Ban- 
tam, $7). My favorite short novel by Tolstoy cer- 
tainly informed my writing about the heroine’s 
dying parents in Fear of Dying. We fail to under- 
stand dying people, talk to them dumbly, and 
cannot help them die. When you read Tolstoy, 
you want to turn in your quill. 

The Washer of the Dead by Venita Coelho (out 
of print). In Fear of Dying, the heroine’s parents 
live to be very old — ^Vanessa’s mother reaches 
101 — so she is amazed to discover how difficult 
her parents’ deaths are to cope with. The dead 
speak to the living in Venita Coelho ’s short sto- 
ries, which seems right: Death does not get easier 


when people live a long time. You think they will 
go on forever. 

Dear Life by Alice Munro (Vintage, $16). 
Munro’s stories deal with mortality in a unique 
way and often have the weight and complexity 
of novels — amazing. 

Being Mortal by Atul Gawande (Metropolitan, 
$26). In his long essay on the way we treat the 
dying in contemporary America, surgeon Atul 
Gawande contrasts the experience of today’s 
patients with his grandfather’s decline in India 
two generations ago. He evokes the needs of the 
aging and suggests how society can make the end 
of life easier. 

The Essential Tagore by Rabindranath Tagore 
(Belknap, $41.50). I realized my novel had to 
end in India with Vanessa’s acceptance of the 
death of her father. Tagore, a poet I loved in my 
20s, helped me understand loss. I find something 
enormously comforting in the Hindu philosophy 
of life and death that Tagore expresses. 


Also of interest...in setting the record straight 

The Road Not Taken NeuroTribes 


by David Orr (Penguin, $26) 

David Orr’s book-length consideration 
of Robert Frost’s most famous poem 
provides “a liberating way to walk 
through familiar woods,” said Michael 
Andor Brodeur in The Boston Globe. 
Many readers interpret “The Road 
Not Taken” as a celebration of individualism; 
others think Frost’s 1916 poem satirizes the delu- 
sions of individualists. Orr, the poetry columnist 
at The New York Times Book Review, “goes to 
great and convincing lengths” to argue that Frost 
intended to make different readings possible and 
to complicate our ideas about free will. 

The Sex Myth 

by Rachel Hills (Simon & Schuster, $16) 

“Stop fretting about what is ‘nor- 
mal,’” said Rosamund Urwin in the 
London Evening Standard. That’s 
the big takeaway from Rachel Hills’ 
new book about how our sex- 
saturated culture is causing more 
people to feel deeply inadequate if they’re not 
skilled hookup artists and champions in the 
bedroom. Hills uses statistics to debunk the idea 
that all young people crave no-strings-attached 
encounters, and her sane advice “might make a 
lot of the Western world happier.” 


by Steve Silberman (Avery, $30) 

Autism has long been misunderstood, 
and this important, “beautifully 
told” history of that misunderstand- 
ing suggests a better way forward, 
said Jennifer Senior in The New 
York Times. Science journalist Steve 
Silberman begins by profiling the two 1940s psy- 
chologists credited with identifying autism, show- 
ing how a too-narrow definition triggered a futile 
hunt for a cure and fears of an epidemic when the 
definition was broadened. NeuroTribes “drags in 
places,” but it argues effectively that people with 
autism are different, not ill. 

The Orpheus Clock 

by Simon Goodman (Scribner, $28) 

The family story recounted in this 
memoir is “one that must be told,” 
said Kevin O’Kelly in CSMonitor 
.com. Its London-born author, Simon 
Goodman, grew up largely unaware 
that his paternal grandparents had 
been Holocaust victims and that the Nazis stole 
their remarkable collection of art. Goodman isn’t 
a great writer, but the specifics of his story, about 
his grandparents’ fate and his family’s frustrating 
quest for restitution, prove “so gripping and hor- 
rifying” that the rough patches just don’t matter. 


THE 

ROAD 

HOT 

TAKEN 







NeuniTribes 






THE WEEK September 11, 2015 


Mary Ann Halpin, Charles Raban 







IFC Films, Magnolia Pictures 


Review of reviews: Film &c Music arts 25 


Queen of 
Earth 

Directed by 
Alex Ross Perry 
Not rated 

★★★iV 

Hatred brews between 
estranged childhood friends. 


Elisabeth Moss’ performance 
is so good in this small, dark 
drama that she “annihilates you 
from first tear to last crushing 
laugh,” said Manohla Dargis 
in The New York Times. The 
Mad Men star plays Catherine, 
a woman who’s reeling from 
her father’s death when her 
boyfriend dumps her, and the 
character’s fragile state is only aggravated after she 
accepts a friend’s invitation to join her at a secluded 
lake house. “The film isn’t a thriller, per se,” said 
Scott Tobias in NPR.org. “But it has the tension 
and atmosphere of one, only with emotional vio- 


lence substituting for the physi- 
cal kind.” Moss’ Catherine and 
Katherine Waterston’s Ginny are 
ostensibly best friends, but hos- 
tility has arisen between them, 
and at this point the idea of 
their being close “mostly applies 
to each of them knowing how 
to hurt the other the most.” We 
become invested in the stand- 
off only because both stars deliver “remarkable, 
radically different performances,” said Ignatiy 
Vishnevetsky in AVClub.com. If you can stomach 
its “queasy psychological currents,” Queen of 
Earth “can be breathtaking.” 



Moss: An emotional whirlwind 


Steve Jobs: 
Man in the 
Machine 

Directed by Alex Gibney 
[R] 

★★★★ 

A biting portrait of 
Apple’s late CEO 


For the many people who 
consider the late Steve Jobs a 
secular saint, Alex Gibney’s new 
documentary offers “a riveting 
and important corrective,” said 
Alex Needham in The Guardian 
(U.K.). The co-founder of Apple 
changed millions of lives because 
of his genius for consumer prod- 
ucts, but Gibney’s film “reveals 
Apple’s ideals to be a sham.” Jobs wasn’t an enlight- 
ened Buddhist; he was a ruthless, self-enriching cap- 
italist. Unfortunately, the movie’s “viciously one- 
sided” portrait proves “wholly unworthy of its 
subject,” said Marlow Stern in TheDailyBeast.com. 


Yes, Jobs cheated business part- 
ner Steve Wozniak even before 
they founded Apple, and he had 
a prickly side. But Gibney, an 
Oscar winner, also paints Jobs as 
a miser, a bully, a tax fraud, and 
a man who routinely bogarted 
parking spaces reserved for the 
handicapped. Gibney does allot 
time to Jobs associates who suf- 
fered abuse at his hands but still love him dearly, 
said Bryan Bishop in TheVerge.com. Their devotion 
allows Gibney to suggest that Jobs was defined by 
his contradictions. “It’s not the revelatory answer 
one hopes for, but that’s also the point.” 



Wonder boy or dark wizards 


Miley Cyrus 

Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz 

★★★- 

Dead Petz \s Miley 
Cyrus "as weVe never 
heard her before," 
said Nolan Feeney in 
Time.com. The free 
album, announced and 
released for stream- 
ing this week on the 
night that the provocative former Disney 
TV starlet hosted MTV's Video Music 
Awards, unveils an artist who finally 
has more to say than "Look at me!" The 
23 songs "resemble leaked demos" and 
often focus on a love of marijuana and sex. 
But the 22-year-old proves to be "adept 
at channeling whatever pain she's feel- 
ing." What's more, she's staking out her 
turf as a lyricist, "questioning everything 
from drugs and sexual politics to the busi- 
ness of the music industry." There's filler 
here — including album opener "Dooo 
It!"— but also "a surplus" of great songs, 
said James Reed in The Boston Globe. The 
effect of her collaboration with the Flaming 
Lips is especially noticeable on "a trio of 
intergalactic slow jams," but this is unmis- 
takably Cyrus' show— one that's "given us 
an excuse to keep talking about her for the 
rest of the year." 


The Weeknd 

Beauty Behind the Madness 

★★★ 

Beauty Behind the 
Madness is "one of the 
bleakest, coldest, hard- 
est albums in recent 
memory," said Tom 
Breihan in Stereogum 
.com. Though it's a 
record "full of expertly 
delivered, immaculately produced pop 
songs," those songs create a narrative arc 
that refutes the age-old idea that lost souls 
can be saved by love. Abel Tesfaye, who 
records as the Weeknd, has cast himself 
from the start as a sex-crazed, drugged- 
out night crawler. Now, on a record whose 
chart-friendly sound channels late-1980s 
Michael Jackson, the 25-year-old has 
declared himself a spiritually hopeless case. 
Good as he is at mimicking M.J.'s falsetto, 
Tesfaye sometimes reaches too far, and his 
voice disintegrates into "an airless, screech- 
ing tremble," said Clover Hope in Jezebel 
.com. "In the Night," his stab at a 2015 
"Thriller," proves "particularly tough to sit 
through." More often, though, he achieves 
what he's reaching for, creating a "thor- 
oughly listenable" album, "a version of pop 
that's glum but absorbing, music that bends 
light into the darkness." 


Motorhead 

Bad Magic 

★★★ 

This "supersonic blast- 
furnace" of metal-punk 
"serves notice to wan- 
nabes" that the grand- 
daddies of the genre 
still have gas left in the 
tank, said Steve Morse 
in The Boston Globe. 
Forty years after frontman Lemmy Kilmister 
founded Motorhead, the band remains as 
hard-hitting as ever, and "this potent record 
ranks among the year's best." Lemmy, now 
69, has had some health scares in recent 
years, but if "brushes with mortality are 
meant to slow you down," Lemmy and his 
current sidemen Phil Campbell and Mikkey 
Dee "didn't get the memo," said Paul Lester 
in Classic Rock. "The language is all death- 
or-glory with several fingers raised to the 
grim reaper," and with a few exceptions 
Bad Magic "captures the band at its fast- 
and-furious best, rocking with a fuss-free 
propulsion that posits Motorhead, finally, as 
the British Ramones." On an album-closing 
cover of the Rolling Stones' "Sympathy 
for the Devil," Lemmy "doesn't quite have 
dagger's diabolical swagger." That's OK: 
Elsewhere, he sounds great— like an "invin- 
cible warty road warrior." 








THE WEEK September 11, 2015 







26 ARTS 


Television 


Movies on TV 


Monday, Sept. 7 
Of Mice and Men 

The best screen adapta- 
tion of John Steinbeck's 
classic novel stars Burgess 
Meredith and Lon Chaney 
Jr. as big-dreaming drift- 
ers. (1939) 8 p.m., TCM 

Tuesday, Sept. 8 

Apollo 13 

A gripping dramatization of 
one of the most perilous of 
all manned U.S. space mis- 
sions. With Tom Hanks at 
the capsule controls. (1995) 
9 p.m., Sundance 

Wednesday, Sept. 9 

3:10 to Yuma 

A hard-up rancher accepts 
$200 to usher a dangerous 
outlaw to justice in this 
classic Western starring 
Van Heflin and Glenn Ford. 
(1957) 8 p.m., TCM 

Thursday, Sept. 10 

Hoosiers 

As a sports drama, 

Hoosiers hasthe fun- 
damentals down. Gene 
Hackman stars as an outlier 
coach hired to help a small- 
town Indiana hoops team 
chase its dreams. (1986) 
10:05 p.m., Encore 

Friday, Sept. 11 

St. Vincent 

Bill Murray does latter-day 
Bill Murray to near perfec- 
tion, playing a drunkard 
and gambler who befriends 
a neighborhood boy. 
Melissa McCarthy and 
Naomi Watts co-star. (2014) 
10:40 p.m.. Showtime 

Saturday, Sept. 12 
The Nun's Story 

Audrey Hepburn was 
Oscar-nominated for her 
performance as a nun 
whose idealism is tested by 
war. (1959) 8 p.m., TCM 

Sunday, Sept. 13 

Casino 

Robert De Niro stars in 
this Martin Scorsese crime 
drama as a bookie hired by 
the Mob to oversee a fledg- 
ling Vegas hotel. Joe Pesci 
and Sharon Stone co-star. 
(1995) Noon, Sundance. 


The Week's guide to what's worth watching 


9/11: The Lost Hero 

Moments after the second World Trade Center 
tower toppled on Sept. 11, 2001, a former 
Marine went to work. Arriving at the site carry- 
ing an infantryman’s shovel, he rescued two Port 
Authority police officers buried under 20 feet 
of twisted steel and concrete, worked two more 
weeks in the rubble, then disappeared. Years 
later, the rescuer, Jason Thomas, finally came 
forward to share his memories of the event and 
of the effects it had on him. Tuesday, Sept. 8, at 
10 p.m., Destination America 

Key & Peele 

These guys deserve a standing O. For five seasons, 
Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele have put 
on a smart, goofy sketch comedy show that also 
happened to be pretty brave about engaging the 
national conversation on race. The stars’ deci- 
sion to walk away from the show may leave a 
hole: President Obama will be losing his “anger 
translator”; we’ll all probably see less of Peek’s 
mispronunciation-prone substitute teacher. But 
at least we can hope for a no-holds-barred finale. 
Wednesday, Sept. 9, at 10 p.m.. Comedy Central 

Longmire 

Revenge is a dish best served streaming. As 
Season 3 of this Wyoming-set crime drama 
ended last summer, stoic sheriff Walt Longmire 
(Robert Taylor) finally discovered who had 
ordered the murder of his wife. Then A&cE 
pulled the plug on the show. Fans can stop hold- 
ing their breath, though, because the critically 
acclaimed series has been reborn as an online 
offering, and the new season should tell us what 
came of the gunshot fired last August. Available 
for streaming Thursday, Sept. 1 0, Netflix 

Johnny Cash: American Rebel 

Attempts to separate Johnny Cash the man from 
the Man in Black myth haven’t always suc- 
ceeded. This documentary makes notable strides, 
providing the personal context behind iconic 
Cash songs, from “Ring of Fire” to “Hurt.” 
Enlightening commentary is provided by Cash’s 
children and by fellow musicians including Merle 



Key and Peele: A bittersweet farewell 

Haggard, Willie Nelson, and Kris Kristofferson. 
Saturday, Sept. 12, at 9 p.m., CMT 

Ferrell Takes the Field 

Babe Ruth. Ted Williams. Will Ferrell. Earlier 
this year, the comedy star accomplished some- 
thing no baseball legend has ever achieved, 
playing 10 positions in one day for 10 different 
major league teams. Was he awful? Absolutely. 
But during his stumbling spring-training micro- 
odyssey, he also raised money for cancer and 
generated a lot of laughs. Saturday, Sept. 12, at 
10 p.m., HBO 

Other highlights 

Craig Ferguson: Just Being Honest 

The former Late Late Show host, with droll 
humor and Scottish accent still intact, per- 
forms an hour-plus stand-up special. Thursday, 
Sept. 10, at 10 p.m., Epix 

Sunday Night Football 

The defending champion New England Patriots 
try to look past the humiliation of “Deflategate” 
as they face the Pittsburgh Steelers in the kickoff 
game of a new NFL season. Thursday, Sept. 1 0, 
at 8:30 p.m., NBC 

Project Greenlight 

Reviving a show they last did 10 years ago. 

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck hand an aspiring 
filmmaker the money and tools to make a fea- 
ture, then buckle in for a bumpy ride. Sunday, 
Sept. 13, at 10 p.m., HBO 



Colbert: How much bite can a network handled 


Show of the week 

Late Show With Stephen Colbert 

Can Stephen Colbert be the anti-Jimmy Fallon? 
Surely that was the bet CBS execs were making 
when they chose the Comedy Central star to 
succeed David Letterman. On the Tonight show, 
Fallon's boy-next-door style is charming but 
toothless, so Colbert makes sense as counter- 
programming. Though he's dropping the fic- 
tional persona he employed on The Colbert Re- 
port, he's shown no desire to abandon his politi- 
cal bent or cutting wit as he moves to a network 
chair. In late night's new Fallon-dominated, 
post-Jon Stewart landscape, that might be 
huge. Tuesday, Sept. 8, at 11:30 p.m., CBS 


THE WEEK September 11, 2015 


All listings are Eastern Time. 


Comedy Central, CBS 




Jody Horton, Buff Strickland, Seth Browarnik/Startraksphoto.com 


LEISURE 
Food 8c Drink 


27 


Red-cooked pork: The ultimate Chinese comfort food 


In China, red-cooked pork is such an 
iconic dish, “Fve always wondered why 
very few American Chinese restaurants 
serve it,” said Kian Lam Kho in Phoenix 
Claws and Jade Trees (Clarkson Potter). 

It’s prepared using a versatile slow- 
cooking method called hongshao, or “red 
cooking” — a name that seems to have 
been adopted because there’s no word 
in Mandarin for “brown.” The same 
method — with variations on the same soy- 
sauce-and-wine-based braising liquid — is 
commonly used for beef, fish, tofu, and 
chicken too. But red-cooked pork is the 
technique’s signature dish — “akin to beef 
stew in American homes.” 

Growing up in Singapore — and long before 
I started my cooking blog RedCook.net — I 
probably ate red-cooked pork at least once 
a week. I learned the family recipe from 
my Aunt Hong, and the version below is 
the product of years of further experimen- 
tation. You can swap in cubes of picnic 
shoulder, but pork belly is easily “the 
cut of choice,” which might explain why 
the dish is little-known here. Until David 
Chang of New York’s Momofuku put it on 
people’s radar, Americans steered clear of 
pork belly. Now it seems “almost impos- 
sible” to go to a fine-dining restaurant that 
doesn’t feature it somewhere on the menu. 
At dinner, serve red-cooked pork with 



Better ‘red’ than forgotten. 


steamed rice and a vegetable. But it’s also 
traditional to serve it sandwich-style, 
topped with julienned scallions and cilan- 
tro sprigs, in a steamed bun. 

Recipe of the week 
Red-cooked pork (Hong shao rou) 

IVi lbs pork belly 


2 tbsp sugar 

3 garlic cloves 

2 scallions, cut into 2-inch pieces 

3 whole star anise 

2 tbsp dark soy sauce 

1 tbsp light soy sauce 

Va cup Shaoxing cooking wine 

IVi cups pork stock, the liquid from the 

parboiling, or water, plus more as needed 

In a stockpot, cover pork belly completely 
with water and bring to a boil. Reduce 
heat to medium. Parboil, uncovered, for 20 
minutes, skimming off any scum that forms 
on the surface. Drain pork, let it cool, and 
then cut it into IVi-mch cubes. 

In a wok over medium heat, dissolve sugar 
in 3 tbsp water and cook until sugar syrup 
begins to turn yellow. Add cubed pork 
belly to wok and brown in the caramelized 
sugar, stirring regularly to prevent burn- 
ing. (You may wish to cover wok with a 
splatter guard.) Add remaining ingredients, 
bring to a boil, then transfer to a clay pot 
or Dutch oven. Simmer, covered, over low 
heat, stirring meat every 15 minutes to 
prevent scorching, for 1 hour, or until the 
pork is tender when pierced with a knife. 
Transfer meat to a bowl. Reduce sauce 
over medium-high heat to the consistency 
you desire. Return pork to pot to reheat. 
Serves 2 to 4. 

Champagne: Jay Z's revenge 

Consider the newest Champagne 
from Armand de Brignac "the 
anti-Cristal," said Elin McCoy 
in Bloomberg.com. The $760 
blanc de noirs, due out in 
October, will be the priciest 
bubbly made by the French 
winery that Jay Z purchased 
after hearing a racial insult in 
a 2006 remark made by the 
head of Louis Roederer, home of Cristal. 
So— besides a sharp difference in bottle 
design — how do the two rivals stack up? 
2006 Louis Roederer Cristal ($240) A 
"subtle" blend of 60 percent pinot noir 
and 40 percent chardonnay, the ultimate 
Cristal is made only in top years, and the 
latest vintage is "worth every penny." 
Armand de Brignac Ace of Spades Blanc 
de Noirs ($760) Easily $400 of the price 
is padding. Still, Jay Z's all-pinot noir 
sparkler is "way more elegant than it 
has to be." Its "buxom" fruit flavors "hit 
you right up front." 


Dessert-tasting menus: Why stop at just one sweet? 

Across the country, more and more pastry chefs are conjur- 
ing "sweet-centric" tasting menus "that are just as intricate 
as their savory counterparts," said Nevin Martell in Travel 
AndLeisure.com. The trend took off after Chika Tillman 
unveiled a tasting menu several years ago at her NewYork 
confection shop, ChikaLicious. Like Tillman, the wizards fol- 
lowing in her wake "love to remix the classics, experiment 
with unexpected ingredients, and conjure up unexpected 
presentations." 

Dominique Ansel Kitchen New York City. At his new cafe- 
pastry shop, the creator of the Cronut has inaugurated a 
themed eight-course, sweets-only menu called U.R (Unlimit- 
ed Possibilities). At the moment, his theme is firsts, like one's 
first kiss, "an experience Ansel evokes with raspberries, 
fresh mint, and vanilla cream." 137 7th Ave. S., (212) 242-5111 
Range Washington, D.C. The "recherche" candy counter 
at this vast restaurant created by Top Cheffinalist Bryan Voltaggio is a great place to 
savor the sugar work of pastry chef Chris Ford. In Ford's three-course tastings, one plate 
always previews a new creation, and the third is a selection of bonbons from those glass 
cases in front of you. 5335 Wisconsin Ave. NW#201, (202) 803-8020 
La V Restaurant & Wine Bar Austin. Pastry chef Janina O'Leary, a James Beard Award 
nominee, enjoys reimagining childhood favorites for her dessert menu, and her imagina- 
tion has few limits. A recent three-course dessert tasting included a warm brioche dough- 
nut served with a scoop of foie gras ice cream. 1501 E. 7th St, (512) 391-1888 



Ice cream at la V 



THE WEEK September 11, 2015 




28 LEISURE 


Travel 


This week's dream: The French Riviera's quiet island life 


A few miles off the French Riviera lie three 
islands that feel a world removed from 
the glitz of Cannes and St.-Tropez, said 
E. Jane Dickson in Conde Nast Traveller 
(U.K.). The lies d’Or, or “Isles of Gold” — 
Porquerolles, Port-Cros, and lie du Levant — 
are located just a 20-minute boat ride from 
the Cote d’Azur, but you won’t see any 
paparazzi chasing starlets on this archipel- 
ago. “This is the South of France as sung by 
Jacques Brel, unstyled and unspoiled.” 

I begin my holiday on Porquerolles. At 
about 4 miles long and 2 miles wide, the 
car-free island is small enough to explore by 
foot or bicycle “but big enough to find soli- 
tude.” Life here centers on the eucalyptus- 
lined Place d’Armes, in the main village, 
where locals play boules and “children 
turn cartwheels in a blur of brown limbs.” 
As the shadows lengthen, people retreat to 
cafe verandas around the square to enjoy 
drawn-out dinners that end with a glass of 
island-made mandarin liqueur. Many of my 



Bathers on Porquerolles approach a quiet bay. 


fellow guests at the Mas du Langoustier 
hotel, a villa on the western side of the isle, 
never wander farther than the property’s 
pool and nearby beaches, which is a shame, 
because the island “packs a lot of topogra- 
phy into a small area.” A short hike uphill 


from Porquerolles village stands the 16th- 
century Fort Sainte Agathe, which offers 
a stunning view of the orchards and vine- 
yards that fill the interior. Along the rocky 
coastline, you can find, even at the peak of 
summer, empty beaches where “you can 
think yourself a castaway.” 

A short ride on a ferry takes you to smaller, 
more rugged Port-Cros. (The third lie d’Or, 
Le Levant, is a long-established nudist 
colony.) Like Porquerolles, forest-covered 
Port-Cros is a nature-conservation area, and 
it’s crisscrossed by hilly hiking trails. “The 
most spectacular sites, however, are found 
beneath the waves.” Off La Palud beach, 
snorkelers can follow a well-marked under- 
water nature trail, and “scuba excursions 
are easy to arrange.” Out in the silvery sea- 
grass beds, “rainbow wrasses flicker and 
glint while doleful groupers look on disap- 
provingly, like plain girls at a disco.” 

At Le Mas du Langoustier (langoustier.com), 
doubles start at $170. 


Hotel of the week 



A beastly welcome 


Henn na Hotel 

Sasebo, Japan 
The staff at this place is 
cold and inhuman— and 
that's exactly why you'll 
want to book a stay, said 
Yuri Kageyama in the 
Associated Press. The Henn 
na Hotel, or Weird Hotel, is 
fully "manned" by robots, 
including an animatronic 
dinosaur receptionist and an 
automated trolley that hauls 
guests' luggage. Each room 
comes with a voice-activated, 
doll-size bot (named Tuly) 
that can control the lighting 
and set an alarm for you. 

In case of any techno blips, 

10 human employees are 
on duty behind the scenes, 
ready to take over from their 
electronic colleagues. 
www.h-n-h.jp/en; doubles 
from $80 


Getting the flavor of... 

Stargazing in Arizona 

Arizona’s Kitt Peak National Observatory offers 
an almost unparalleled view of the universe, said 
John Briley in The Washington Post. Located 
6,875 feet up in the arid Quinlan Mountains, 
the observatory is home to one of the world’s 
largest collections of research telescopes — 26 
in all. Astronomy Ph.D.’s could tell you that 
it’s a leading site “for the serious study of the 
heavens,” but the observatory also offers guided 
public stargazing sessions. During a recent 
visit, I peered through a telescope at the Orion 
Nebula, “a swirling haze of gas and dust 1,300 
light-years away.” When the guide pointed the 
telescope at Jupiter, I could count four of the 
planet’s moons, hanging from the gas giant’s 
striped face “like a double set of diamond ear- 
rings.” I passed the eyepiece to another tour goer 
and lifted my naked eyes up into “a blizzard of 
celestial bodies” that might have been “more 
mind-bending than my intimate view of Jupiter.” 


Wild New Jersey 

New Jersey is known as a tangle of highways 
and strip malls, but the Garden State can be a 
great place for a nature vacation, said Jenna 
Schnuer in National Geographic Traveler. 

When I was growing up in Jersey, I would have 
scoffed at the idea, but a recent kayak expedi- 
tion with friends on the Delaware River made 
me a believer. After floating lazily downstream 
for eight miles, I got out at the Delaware Water 
Gap National Recreation Area, where scream- 
ing kids splashed in the water and blasted each 
other with Super Soakers. Afterward, I drove 
4 miles along a tree-lined country road to my 
campsite in Worthington State Forest. Suddenly, 

I was immersed in a quieter New Jersey, where 
“bullfrogs provide the evening’s soundtrack.” 
Later, the light of my headlamp caught the night’s 
final show: “tiny frogs hopping around, no big- 
ger than my thumbnail.” Camping in New Jersey 
started to make sense. 


Last-minute travel deals 


Poland by bicycle 

Cycle along Poland's Vistula 
River, passing through charm- 
ing villages and ancient forests, 
and save $450 on a 10-day trip 
departing Sept. 26. The $3,495 
offer includes airfare, lodging, a 
cooking lesson, and tours of a 
16th-century castle. 
vbt.com 


Singapore's celebration 

Singapore Airlines is offering 
50 days of discounts to mark the 
50th anniversary of Singapore's 
independence. Pay $850, for 
example, for a round-trip to the 
city-state from New York. Fly on 
to Manila or Bangkok for $50 
more. Book by Sept. 27. 
singaporeair. com 


Peru's main attractions 

Explore Machu Picchu and other 
mountaintop Incan ruins dur- 
ing a nine-night tour of Peru for 
$1,699, a price that beats com- 
peting packages by $1,600. The 
deal includes round-trip airfare 
from Miami and stays in Lima 
and Cusco. Book by Sept. 9. 
gate1travel.com 


THE WEEK September 11, 2015 


Getty 





Consumer 


LEISURE 29 




The 2016 Hyundai Tucson: What the critics say 


New York Daily News 

"Affordable style for the masses, here's your 
SUV exemplar." Hyundai's Tucson, which 
has always been a good value, now flaunts 
the most beautiful and aggressive styling 
in the automaker's lineup, and this third- 
generation edition is peppier and more 
fuel-efficient, too. It still faces the crowded 
field of compact crossovers, which today 
outsells any other vehicle segment. But the 
"much hipper, more tech-savvy" Tucson 
arriving this fall no longer has to win over 
buyers on value alone. 

Car and Driver 

The 201 6's considerably bigger trunk "rem- 


edies the largest knock against the previous 
Tucson." Though the cabin isn't thrilling, it's 
well put together, and thanks to structural 
upgrades, the vehicle as a whole "feels far 
more substantial." Hyundai hopes to nearly 
double its U.S. Tucson sales next year, to 
90,000, and most of those sales will be of 
models equipped with a new power train 
that makes every one "a pleasure to drive." 

Edmunds.com 

Buyers should be aware that the "forget- 
table" 2.0-liter engine in the base model 
hasn't been retired. But the three other 
trim levels get a "sprightly" turbocharged 
1.6-liter four-cylinder and a quick-shifting 


A 'real threat' to the crossover titans, 
from $22,700 

new dual-clutch seven-speed automatic 
transmission. Suddenly, the Tucson looks 
like "a real threat to disrupt the compact- 
crossover status quo." 


Coverblubber 
Food Wrap 

Next time you're ready 
to store a cut cucumber 
or cantaloupe, reach for 
a stretchy Sticky Rubber 
skin. These reusable BPA- 
free wraps fit snugly on 
produce or over an open 
bowl. They're sold in sets 
of four. 

$20, uncommongoods.com 
Source: Good Housekeeping 


Officeoriginair 
Herb Garden 

With the right container, 
all your fresh herbs can 
be kept just where you 
need them. "Not only will 
the splash of green liven 
up your table, but you 
won't miss any of the 
chat while you garnish 
cocktails and canapes." 
$55, amazon.com 
Source; Wall Street Journal 


The Sorapot 

Behold "the most beau- 
tiful teapot in the tea- 
drinking world." Created 
by Portland, Ore.-based 
designer Joey Roth, the 
Sorapot and its glass 
chamber turn tea-brewing 
into theater, allowing 
connoisseurs to time 
their pours to perfection. 
$285, joeyroth.com 
Source: Financial Times 


Benriner Vertical 
Spiral Slicer 

"If you haven't yet been 
swept up in the spiral- 
izing craze, it's a good 
moment to give it a go." 
This slicer swiftly turns 
veggies into ribbon-like 
twirls that can dress up a 
salad or create a healthy 
substitute for pasta. 

$60, surlatable.com 
Source: Wall Street Journal 


Duxtop Sensor Touch 
Induction Cooktop 

Everybody could use an 
extra burner occasion- 
ally. This thin induction 
cooktop from Secura is 
safer than an electric coil 
because it uses electro- 
magnetism to heat pots 
or pans directly. It also 
shuts off automatically. 
$70, sears.com 
Source: DigitalTrends.com 


Tip of the week... 

How to save a wet phone 

■ Turn it off. Fight the urge to see if the 
phone works if it's just gotten dunked, 
because putting pressure on the keys or 
screen can let the water in. So does shaking 
it. Instead, turn it off and remove all periph- 
erals, like SIM and SD cards. 

■ Vacuum out the moisture. If a vacuum 
cleaner is handy, use it to suck the water out 
of all the phone's orifices. You can also use 

a drinking straw. Just be sure to spit out the 
liquid you suck into your mouth. 

■ Give it time (and rice). Bury the phone in 
a bowl or baggie full of uncooked rice and 
let the rice wick out additional moisture. 
Setting the phone in front of an air condi- 
tioner can also work (never use a hair dryer 
or oven). Give the drying three days if you 
can, and at least 24 hours. Then comes the 
moment of truth: Charge the phone and try 
powering it on. 

Source: USA Today 


And for those who have 
everything... 

Jellyfish are i ^ 

"hypnotizing to ^ 

watch," so why not ^ 

let them hypnotize . ^ 

you in your home or 

office? The Pulse 80 

Jellyfish Aquarium 

was designed with X 

the special needs of jellyfish in 
mind, and it lets a human operator play 
with lighting effects. A remote control that 
governs the LED system lets you choose 
among thousands of colors and set the 
brightness and timing for flashes or color 
shifts. The aquarium is handmade from 
scratch-resistant cast acrylic and features a 
low-maintenance filtration system and an 
Italian-made pump designed to be virtually 
silent while operating. 

$1,300, cubicaquarium.com 
Source: BlessThisStuff.com 


Best apps... 

For playing old-tinne board gannes 

■ Jenga is "just as difficult virtually as it is in 
reality." The free digital version of the tower- 
building game allows up to four players to 
try increasing the tower's height without 
making the whole thing topple. 

■ Yahtzee With Buddies makes it easy to 
play the classic dice-rolling game with 
friends. It's free, but encourages you to pay 
for "bonus" rolls. 

■ Uno & Friends augments the family-favorite 
card game by adding tournament options. 

■ Monopoly is another game app you can 
get for free, while The Game of Life costs $1. 

■ Chess, an app for Android devices only, 
lets you play against friends, as you'd expect. 
But it also includes a virtual coach and 10 dif- 
ficulty levels for solo play. ($1) 

■ Mahjong Solitaire Epic won't let you play 
mah-jongg, only mah-jongg solitaire. But it 
adds new boards to its vast selection daily. 
Source; Cherry Hill, N.J., Courier-Post 


THE WEEK September 11, 2015 



30 


Best properties on the market 


This week: Homes with secret hideaways 



1 ◄ New Hope, Pa. This recently renovated six- 
bedroom stone manor, set on 12.2 acres, was 
built in 1762. An interior secret stairwell behind 
a revolving bookcase leads to the first floor. Addi- 
tional features include French doors, wide-plank 
wood floors, two fireplaces, and an in-ground 
pool with a pool house. $2,795,000. Kevin 
Steiger, Kurfiss/Sotheby’s International Realty, 
(215) 519-1746 



2 ◄ Fort Mitchell, Ky. Built in 1930, this four-bedroom home lies just 
across the Ohio River from Cincinnati. The house has a stained-glass 
window, French doors, high ceilings, and crown molding. A secret 
room with a bar and bathroom inside is reached via a bookcase in the 
study. $849,000. Barb Massman and Cindy Hahn, Coldwell Banker 
West Shell, (859) 341-9000 



3 ► South Kings- 
town, R.l. The Potter 
Homestead is a four- 
bedroom Federal- 
style colonial built 
in 1809. Features in- 
clude four fireplaces, 
a garden room, and a 
living room with an 
exposed-beam ceil- 
ing. A secret staircase 
to the second floor 
is accessible from 
the keeping room, 
a room historically 
used to heat a house 
throughout the night. 
$1,200,000. Jose Aguor 
White/Sotheby’s Interna 
(401) 848-6723 



THE WEEK September 11, 2015 




31 


Best properties on the market 


4 ► Reedville,Va. The Gables, a four-bedroom mortise- 
and-tenon-constructed house, was built by Capt. James 
Fisher in 1909. The mast of Fisher’s schooner, the John 
B. Adams, runs through the top two floors; there are also 
ship’s cabin doors, an oak staircase, and a secret fourth 
floor with small bell-shaped rooms. The 1.2-acre prop- 
erty on Chesapeake Bay includes a six-bedroom bed-and- 
breakfast and a two-bedroom cottage. $1,750,000. Travis 
Powell, Select Properties of Virginia, (804) 512-2086 





lai 

i 

ISI 

m 


5 A Delaware, Ohio This 
five-bedroom home sits on 
1.5 landscaped acres that 
include a pool, an outdoor 
kitchen, and a fireplace. The 
house has hardwood floors, 
a French farmhouse-style 
kitchen with marble counters, 
and a secret bedroom with 
a hidden hallway entry. Ad- 
ditional amenities include a 
three-car garage with heated 
floors and a small house used 
as a fitness room. $1,899,000. 
Jane Kessler-Lennox, New Al- 
bany Realty, (614) 939-8900 




6 T Naperville, III. Built in 2004, this four-bedroom Tuscan- 
style home is set within walking distance of downtown 
and area museums. Details include a chef’s kitchen, walnut 

and travertine 
floors, and a 
master suite 
with a fireplace. 
The house is 
equipped with 
a secret panic 
room as well as 
a wine cellar. 
$2,575,000. 
Peter Angelo 
and Kate Wad- 
dell, Jameson/ 
Sotheby’s Inter- 
national Realty, 
(312) 751-0300 



7 ▲ Syracuse, N.Y. This five-bedroom Arts and 
Crafts-style house was built in 1916. Pulling a string in a small 
door under the staircase reveals a Prohibition-era secret room in the 
basement. Other details include cherry cabinets, a 750-bottle wine 
cellar, two fireplaces, stained-glass windows, and wall-panel art. 
$455,969. Janice Egan, Keller Williams Realty, (315) 391-5082 


THE WEEK September 11, 2015 



32 BUSINESS 

The news at a glance 


The bottom line 


Technology: Uber’s business model under fire 


■ College graduates from the 
U.S. Naval Academy have the 
highest starting salary during 
their first five years in the 
professional world, with the 
median degree holder making 
$82,900 a year. Graduates 
from West Point are second, 
followed by grads from Har- 
vey Mudd College and MIT 
The Washington Post 

■ The sinking price of oil has 
Alaska, which depends on oil 
revenues for 85 percent of its 
state budget, headed for the 
red. For every $5 drop in oil 
prices, the state, which has 
no sales or income tax, loses 
$120 million in revenue. Even 
after massive spending cuts, 
the state expects a $3.5 billion 
deficit this fiscal year. 
TheAtlantic. com 



■ More people are buying 
sushi from grocery stores, 
with $705 million in sales in 
the past 12 
months— a 
27 percent 
increase 
over the 
past four 
years. Five 
percent of these shop- 
pers say they bought their 
sushi from a dollar store; 0.1 
percent bought it from a gas 
station or convenience store. 
Fortune 


m For the 17th year in a row, 
Atlanta had the busiest airport 
in the world. More than 96 
million passengers passed 
through Hartsfield-Jackson 
Atlanta International Airport in 
2014. Beijing Capital Interna- 
tional Airport was second, 
with 86 million. A total of 6.7 
billion passengers passed 
through airports worldwide. 
CNN.com 


■ Electricity generated by 
U.S. wind farms fell 6 percent 
i n the fi rst ha If of 201 5, even 
though wind farm capacity 
grew by 9 percent, thanks to 
some of the softest air cur- 
rents in 40 years.The feeble 
breezes could continue into 
early 2016, as the El Nino 
weather phenomenon holds 
back wind speeds across 
much of the U.S. 
FinancialTimes 


A new ruling granting class-action 
status to Uber drivers “could 
reshape the sharing economy,” 
said Dan Levine in Reuters.com. 

A federal judge in San Francisco 
ruled this week that three Uber 
drivers suing the ride-sharing 
company for employee benefits 
could sue as a group. That means 
the suit could grow to cover more 
than 160,000 California drivers, giving the plain- 
tiffs more leverage to negotiate a settlement with 
the tech firm, now valued at more than $50 bil- 
lion. If a court finds that the drivers are employees 
and not independent contractors, Uber and “other 
hot startups dependent on similar service work- 
ers” might have to pay Social Security, workers’ 
compensation, and unemployment insurance. 


Uber “has fought bitterly” to 
avoid this scenario, said Alison 
Griswold in Slate.com. As part 
of its legal campaign, the com- 
pany gathered statements from 
400 drivers saying they prefer 
the freedom and flexibility of 
their independent-contractor 
status. Judge Edward Chen 
brushed off such testimony, 
pointing out that it came from just 0.25 percent 
of California Uber drivers. He also dismissed the 
company’s claim that there is “no typical ‘Uber 
driver,”’ and thus no basis for class-action status. 
Uber plans to appeal, which means more court- 
room battles ahead. With its business model at 
stake, future rulings against the firm could shake 
Uber “to the very core.” 



Next stop: A class action 


Markets: Mutual funds hit by tech snag 

A computer glitch has rocked the mutual fund industry for the past 
week, said Kirsten Grind in The Wall Street Journal. An “unprecedented 
outage” at Bank of New York Mellon Corp., the largest custodian 
bank for mutual funds in the world, prevented nearly 50 fund compa- 
nies from providing investors with up-to-date prices for roughly 1,200 
mutual funds and exchange-traded funds. Setbacks in resolving the glitch 
“have put the bank’s reputation on the line,” with some funds consid- 
ering a move to a rival custodian. “The company is a plumber to the 
banking industry,” said banking analyst Mike Mayo. “It’s a black eye.” 

Autos: Rave reviews for Tesla's new car 

Consumer Reports has nothing but good things to say about Tesla’s 
latest electric car, said Will Oremus in Slate.com. The automaker’s new 
top-of-the-line Model S P85D scored 103 on the magazine’s 100-point 
scale, the highest rating ever, forcing Consumer Reports to recalibrate 
its rating system so the car “would grade out at a more reasonable 
100.” The magazine’s director of automotive testing praised the 
P85D’s performance as “the closest to perfect we’ve ever seen.” The 
all- wheel-drive vehicle can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds. 
Also formidable: the car’s $128,000 price tag. 

Construction: Spending hits pre-recession levels 

U.S. construction spending in July reached its highest level in seven 
years, adding to the economy’s recent gains, said Josh Boak in the 
Associated Press. Construction spending rose 0.7 percent to a seasonally 
adjusted annual rate of $1.08 trillion, the most since May 2008. Total 
construction spending has risen 13.7 percent over the past 12 months, 
with gains in single-family houses (2.1 percent), factories (4.7 percent), 
and power facilities (2.1 percent). 

Work: Yahoo chief expecting twins 

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer announced this week she is expecting 
twin girls in December, said Lisa Beilfuss in The Wall Street Journal. 
Mayer famously took the reins at Yahoo in 2012 while pregnant with 
her first child. The executive’s two-week maternity leave, during which 
she worked from home, sparked a national debate about work-life bal- 
ance and moms in management positions. During her tenure at Yahoo, 
Mayer has extended paid parental leave to 16 weeks for mothers and 
eight weeks for fathers. Other Silicon Valley firms, including Microsoft 
and Netflix, have also increased parental leave to retain top talent. 


China's bogus 
'Goldman Sachs' 

Chinese companies 
have been accused of 
pirating everything from 
movies to handbags. 
"Add Goldman Sachs 
to the list," said Shai 
Oster in Bloomberg 
.com. Goldman Sachs 
(Shenzhen) Financial 
Leasing Co. has nearly 
the same English and 
Chinese names as 
the New York-based 
financial icon, sports a 
similar logo, and claims 
to be one of Shenzhen's 
largest financial firms. 
But the company has 
zero ties to the U.S.- 
based Goldman. Its 
name-borrowing came 
to light when a U.S. 
casino workers union 
complained to Beijing 
about the firm's alleged 
ties to organized crime 
gangs in the gambling 
hub of Macau. Unfor- 
tunately, the real Gold- 
man doesn't have 
much chance against its 
Shenzhen doppelgan- 
ger. It's "notoriously dif- 
ficult" in China to win a 
trademark infringement 
case, said Paul Haswell, 
a Hong Kong-based 
lawyer. "Whoever regis- 
ters first wins." 


THE WEEK September 11, 2015 


AF? Corbis 





Getty 


Making money 


BUSINESS 33 


Investing: When markets go hayw^ire 



Investors can be forgiven for feeling 
queasy after Wall Street’s latest roller- 
coaster ride, said Ron Lieber in The 
New York Times. Alas, all this seesaw- 
ing “is what markets do.” And though 
your first impulse when stocks take a 
tumble might be to do something — 
anything at all — most experts will tell 
you to take a few deep breaths, and 
then sit tight. Odds are you’re still a big 
winner if you’ve invested in the stock 
market over the past six years. Un- 
less your financial goals have changed 
in the past few weeks, “it probably 
doesn’t make much sense to overhaul an 
based on a blip of market activity.” 


A better strategy: “Check your port- 
folio less often,” said Justin Wolfers 
in The New York Times. Psycholo- 
gists have found that we feel the ef- 
fect of stock losses roughly twice as 
much as we do a similar-size gain. 
Since the S&P 500 index was created 
in 1957, it has fallen on 46.7 percent 
of all trading days. But if you peeked 
at your returns just once a month, 
history shows us, you’d “realize 
losses only 40.4 percent of the time.” 
Check just at the end of each year 
Don’t try to predict the end of a bull market. instead, and you’ll have dealt with 

investment strategy losses only 27.6 percent of the time. Not only will you be less 
stressed, “it may lead you to make better financial decisions.” 


You definitely shouldn’t sell, but you shouldn’t buy, either, said 
Jordan Weissmann in Slate.com. If friends tell you a sell-off is 
an amazing time to load up on stocks like Apple, “you should 
ignore them.” Yes, the market usually rebounds. Since 1980, the 
Standard &: Poor’s 500 has fallen 5 percent or more in a week on 
28 other occasions. Seventy percent of the time, stocks rose over 
the next three months after those losses. But it doesn’t always 
happen that way. After big downturns in 1987 and 2008, stocks 
kept falling, sometimes by 20 percent or more. The point is, you 
don’t know how to time the market. No one does. 


The truth is, most people aren’t affected by these dramatic mar- 
ket hiccups, said Allan Sloan in The Washington Post. Federal 
Reserve statistics show 93 percent of U.S. households own less 
than $27,000 of stocks directly, and only about a quarter of 
households own more than $36,000 of stock in their retirement 
accounts. For most of us, the state of the “real economy” is what 
matters, said Marilyn Geewax in NPR.ofg. Consumer confidence 
is up, the federal government’s deficit is shrinking, and the econ- 
omy grew faster than expected last quarter. Good news is out 
there, “if you can ignore the shrieks of stock traders.” 


What the experts say 

Facebook's lending plans 

Who your Facebook friends are could soon 
determine your creditworthiness, said Susie 
Cagle in Pacific Standard. Facebook recently 
filed a patent for a tool that would enable lend- 
ers to use the credit ratings of your Facebook 
friends as a factor when deciding whether or 
not to make a loan. That means “you could 
be denied a loan simply because your friends 
have defaulted on theirs.” The tool tracks 
how users are networked together, based on 
evidence that “shows we’re more likely to 
seek out friends who are like ourselves.” But 
the fear is that such technology could be used 
to make discriminatory lending decisions. 

Nor is the data foolproof, since networks are 
“clogged” with exes, old co-workers, and 
people we’ve met once or not at all. The con- 
sequences of approving loans via Facebook 
could be “completely unpredictable.” 

Tax tips for inherited 401 (k)s 

Inheriting a retirement account from anyone 
but a spouse used to come with a substan- 
tial all-at-once tax hit, said Bill Bischoff in 
MarketWatch.com. Current rules now allow 
beneficiaries a way to defer taxes by rolling 
over the distribution into an IRA. “But you 
must follow the proper procedure to get this 


taxpayer-friendly outcome.” That means 
setting up an IRA specifically to receive an 
inherited retirement plan’s distribution. This 
must be accomplished by a direct trustee-to- 
trustee transfer of the funds; a check can’t be 
made out to you personally. Doing this, “you 
can effectively accomplish a tax-free rollover.” 
Once the money is in the receiving IRA, you 
also must start taking the required minimum 
withdrawals each year. 

Downsizing for retirement 

“A smaller home can cut your costs and 
your cares,” said Cybele Weisser in Money. 
Among retirees who move, nearly half opt 
for a smaller place. They should do their due 
diligence first. Moving costs, including broker 
fees, can add up to 10 percent of the price of 
an old home. Depending on where they move, 
tax bills may shrink, but home insurance 
premiums could grow. Condos are generally 
cheaper than single-family homes, but come 
with maintenance fees and homeowners as- 
sociation rules. Renting is also an option, es- 
pecially if retirees want to add the proceeds of 
a home sale to their retirement portfolio. It’s 
also a good idea to move sooner rather than 
later. It’s easier to downsize in your 60s than 
in your 80s. 


Charity of the week 


When a disease 
affects fewer 
than 200,000 
people, it's 
known as a 
rare or orphan 
disease. There 
are currently 
more than 
6,000 such dis- 
eases that, counted together, affect 
30 million Americans, most of them 
children. Recognizing that these dis- 
eases often receive little research 
funding, the National Organization for 
Rare Disorders (rarediseases.org) helps 
identify, treat, and cure these afflictions. 
It funds patient-assistance programs 
and research grants, and partners with 
patient organizations and companies 
working to create products for rare- 
disease victims. Since 1983, NORD has 
also helped uninsured patients or those 
with out-of-pocket costs receive the 
treatment they need through medication 
assistance and access to clinical trials. 



NORD 


Each charity we feature has earned a 
four-star overall rating from Charity 
Navigator, which rates not-for-profit 
organizations on the strength of their 
finances, their governance practices, 
and the transparency of their operations. 
Four stars is the group's highest rating. 


THE WEEK September 11, 2015 




34 


Best columns: Business 


Issue of the week: The Fed guessing game 


All eyes are now on Federal Reserve chair- 
woman Janet Yellen, said Binyamin Appel- 
baum in The New York Times. Since Decem- 
ber 2008, the central bank has held short- 
term interest rates near 0 percent, an unprece- 
dented stretch meant to pull the U.S. economy 
from the depths of the Great Recession. But 
the end of this cheap-money era appears to be 
near. With the economy steadily improving, 
the Fed plans to raise its benchmark interest 
rate by 0.25 percent, perhaps as soon as its 
mid-September meeting. It’s “a mathemati- 
cally minor move that has become a very big 
deal.” Liberals want to keep rates low to boost growth and fight 
economic inequality; conservatives say it’s long past time to rip 
off the Band-Aid of federal stimulus. Everyone’s worried about 
how the skittish global markets will react. 

“Raising rates would declare that we’re back to normal,” said 
Katrina vanden Heuvel in The Washington Post. There’s only 
one problem: “Most Americans aren’t.” The percentage of work- 
ing-age Americans with jobs hasn’t returned to its pre-recession 
level. Wages are stagnant, underemployment is widespread, and 
median household wealth continues to decline. Meanwhile, Eu- 
rope is troubled and China is a mess. What exactly is the rush? 
There’s only one good reason to raise interest rates and that’s to 
fight inflation, said Matthew Yglesias in Vox.com. But the U.S. 
“does not currently have an inflation problem.” Inflation is well 
below the Fed’s 2 percent target and seems likely to stay that 
way. How much the economy can grow before inflation does 
become a problem is up for debate, but there’s little risk — and 


“considerable benefit” — ^to keeping rates 
low in the meantime. 

These are all “weak reasons” that over- 
look a central fact, said Barry Ritholtz 
in BloombergView.com. “Interest rates 
at zero are a post-credit-crisis emergency 
setting, and the emergency is over.” The 
economy posted surprisingly strong 3.7 per- 
cent growth last quarter. And the truth 
is, “banks can handle the increase.” The 
Fed also needs to stop delaying sound fis- 
cal policy every time Wall Street throws a 
tantrum, said William Cohan in The New York Times. When- 
ever the central bank signals that it plans to raise rates, markets 
swoon, as traders “ponder the fact that the morphine drip of 
free money might be pulled out of their arms.” A version of 
this “tragicomedy” is now playing out in the markets, and Wall 
Street is begging for another postponement of the inevitable. But 
it’s time to “end the easy-money addiction” once and for all. 

Given the “extraordinarily gradual approach” Fed leaders have 
promised to take to hiking rates, “it’s a wonder they have not 
raised rates already,” said Chris Low in BBC.com. After all, the 
unemployment rate, perhaps the most important factor in their 
decision, was 5.3 percent in July, very close to the 5 to 5.25 per- 
cent range considered to be full employment. Ultimately, “it is 
worth remembering the Fed has history on its side”: Financial 
markets almost always panic after a first rate increase, but calm 
down when investors see the economy can handle it. “There is 
no reason it should be different this time.” 



What will Janet do^ 


Stocks 
are still 
overpriced 

Robert J. Shiller 

The New York Times 


The worst probably isn’t over on Wall Street, 
said Robert J. Shiller. There’s reason to believe 
stocks are still overpriced and that investors can 
expect “more extended punishment.” One way 
to measure whether stocks are overvalued is the 
Cyclically Adjusted Price Earnings (CAPE) ratio, 
which takes the price of a stock and divides it by 
the average of 10 years of earnings. A high CAPE 
level tends to precede poor stock market perfor- 
mance. From 1881 to 2015, the average CAPE 
was 17; in July, it hit 27. “Levels higher than that 
have occurred very few times,” notably in years 
clustered around the stock market peaks of 1929, 


2000, and 2007, each of which were followed 
by crashes. Investor optimism also appears to 
be fraying. The percentage of those who believe 
stocks are fairly valued is now at its “lowest level 
since just before the stock market crash of 2000.” 
It’s “entirely plausible” that this worry will drive 
stocks down significantly in the coming months 
and restore CAPE ratios to historical averages. 

If that happens, the S&cP 500 would be closer to 
1,300, down from around 1,900 this week, and 
the Dow at 11,000, down from around 16,000. 
Will that happen? “We are in a rare and anxious 
Just don’t know’ situation.” 


Will Apple’s 
car even 
be a car? 

Christopher Mims 

The Wall Street Journal 


At first glance, it makes no sense that Apple is 
developing a car, said Christopher Mims. “Cars 
are a brutally commodified, terrifically expensive, 
generally low-margin industry.” Entering the field 
“is like getting into a land war.” But if reports 
are to be believed, Apple executives are forging 
ahead anyway, sensing an opportunity to disrupt 
a stagnant business just as they once remade the 
mobile phone industry. So here’s my prediction: 
When it comes to cars, the tech giant will play “a 
long game, one that could easily span decades.” 
Apple knows that if it wants to make a unique 
contribution to the auto industry, it needs to stay 


one step ahead of the radical changes already 
disrupting transportation, whether it’s Uber’s on- 
demand rides or Google’s forthcoming self-driving 
cars. My guess is that at least some Apple execs 
are asking themselves: “In a self-driving, vehicle- 
on-demand future, why build what we think of as 
cars at all?” After all, data might suggest the most 
efficient way to move people around isn’t in gas- 
guzzling, 2-ton vehicles built for five, but “some 
combination of self-driving buses, vans, and one- 
or two-person vehicles.” Remember, this is Apple 
we’re talking about. At the end of the day, who’s 
to say an Apple car “will resemble a car at all?” 


THE WEEK September 11, 2015 


Getty 



Rex USA, Newscom 


Obituaries 35 

The neurologist and author who explored the human mind 


Oliver Neurologist Oliver Sacks was 

Sacks early in his four-decade tenure 

1933-2015 New York City’s Beth Abra- 
ham Hospital in 1969 when he 
encountered Miss R. She was one of about 80 
patients at the Bronx facility who had survived 
a post-World War I encephalitis epidemic, only 
to be left in a sleep-like state by the disease. But 
when Sacks administered an experimental drug, 

Miss R. miraculously awoke, and was able to 
walk, talk, and even play piano. The other 
patients also responded, but all suffered intolerable side effects, 
and Sacks was eventually forced to stop the treatment, sending 
them back into a catatonic state. Sacks recounted their case histo- 
ries in Awakenings, the 1973 best-seller that launched his career 
as an author of acclaimed books about people with often bizarre 
brain disorders, and which was made into an Oscar-nominated 
film in 1990. “Through [my patients] I would explore what it 
was like to be human,” he wrote, “to stay human, in the face of 
unimaginable adversities and threats.” 

Born in London to husband-and-wife physicians. Sacks was sent 
to a boarding school in the English countryside at age 6, to escape 
bombing raids on the capital during Word War II. He was “beaten 
and half-starved by a sadistic headmaster,” said The Times (U.K.), 
and returned home traumatized at age 10, taking refuge in his base- 
ment chemistry lab. His surgeon mother sought to instill a love of 
anatomy in her son “by performing dissections with him,” said The 
Washington Post. An observant Orthodox Jew, she also instilled in 
him “a sense of shame about his sexuality.” When she discovered 
her 18-year-old son was gay, she called him “an abomination.” 

That rejection, said Sacks, “haunted me for much of my life.” 


After studying medicine at the University of 
Oxford, Sacks moved to the U.S. in 1960, 
interning at a San Francisco hospital before 
spending three years as a resident at UCLA. 

He became an avid weight lifter during his 
California years; “experimented with recre- 
ational drugs,” including marijuana, LSD, and 
amphetamines; and developed a passion for 
motorbikes, said the Los Angeles Times. “I 
would be Dr. Oliver Sacks, the intern, wearing a 
white coat in the daytime,” he said, “and then, 
when the day was over, I would take off into the night, and go for 
long, crazy moonlit rides.” 

Settling in New York, Sacks began treating the patients who would 
populate what he called his “neurological novels.” His 1985 book. 
The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, introduced the world 
to Dr. R, the titular man whose brain had lost the ability to decipher 
what his eyes were seeing, and Jimmie G., an amnesiac World War II 
vet stranded in 1945. But Sacks also revealed how brain disorders 
can sometimes bestow on patients “uncanny gifts,” said The New 
York Times. An Anthropologist on Mars (1995) featured the case 
of Dr. Carl Bennett, who had Tourette’s syndrome, which causes 
verbal outbursts and other tics. Yet Tourette’s also made Bennett, a 
surgeon, “more meticulous, more exact,” the neurologist wrote. 

Sacks was also “an avid chronicler” of the mysteries of his own 
brain, said The Guardian (U.K.), writing about his experiments 
with psychedelic drugs, his impairments — he suffered from prosop- 
agnosia, or face blindness — and, more recently, living with cancer. 
“I had always liked to see myself as a naturalist or explorer,” Sacks 
wrote in 1984. “I had explored many strange neuropsychological 
lands — ^the furthest Arctics and Tropics of neurological disorder.” 



The master of horror who brought Freddy Krueger to Ufe 


Wes When A Nightmare on Elm Street was 
Craven released in 1984, veteran horror director 
1939-2015 W'ss Craven hoped the film would be 
his last shocker. “I’m tired of being ‘the 
granddaddy of the slasher film,”’ he told a reporter, add- 
ing that he wanted to make something gentler — ^perhaps 
a castaway movie. Instead, the box office success of 
Elm Street cemented Craven’s reputation as a horror 
master and turned the film’s bogeyman, the razor- 
gloved, teen-killing Freddy Krueger, into a cultural icon. 

Years later, the director made peace with his reputation. 

“Sometimes you fight what you are,” he said in 2010. 

“At a certain point you say, ‘You know. I’m really good at this.’” 

Born in Cleveland, Craven “was raised by a strict Protestant fam- 
ily” who forbade drinking, dancing, and watching movies, said 
The Washington Post. “My whole youth was based on suppressing 
emotion,” he said. “Making movies — these awful horror mov- 
ies, no less — ^was, I guess, my way of purging this rage.” After 
attending Illinois’s evangelical Wheaton College, Craven landed a 
teaching job in Potsdam, N.Y But he quit academia in 1970 “for a 
grittier profession”: directing pornographic films. 

When Craven made the transition to horror, he kept “his appe- 
tite for pushing the boundaries of what was considered accept- 
able,” said the Los Angeles Times. His first feature, 1972’s The 
East House on the Eeft, was a gruesome tale of rape, murder. 


and revenge that ended up being banned in several 
countries. Craven’s follow-up. The Hills Have Eyes 
(1977), in which cannibals terrorize a family, “estab- 
lished his reputation as a cult director,” said The 
Daily Telegraph (U.K.). But it was Elm Street that 
rocketed Craven into the mainstream. Made at the 
height of the AIDS crisis, “the film seemed to tap into 
deep-seated fears.” 

Elm Street spawned numerous sequels, but Craven 
wouldn’t direct a Krueger film again until 1994’s Wes 
Cravens New Nightmare — “an art-spills-into-life 
horror picture” in which the director himself is stalked by his mon- 
strous creation, said NYMag.com. After returning to one franchise, 
he created another one with Scream (1996), a high-school slasher 
movie full of ironic self-reference — “What’s your favorite scary 
movie?” the killer asks his victims. 

Craven temporarily put aside “murder and mayhem” to direct 
1999’s Music of the Heart, an uplifting story of an East Harlem 
violin teacher, said The New York Times. The movie earned an 
Oscar nomination for its star, Meryl Streep, but the director knew 
he’d always be associated with horror — a genre that he came to 
believe had an important function in society. “Some people ask 
why people would go into a dark room to be scared,” he said in 
2007. “I say they are already scared and they need to have that 
fear manipulated and massaged.” 



THE WEEK September 11, 2015 



36 


The last word 


The seventh day of hfe 

As death approaches, said Oliver Sacks, my thoughts turn to the peace symbolized by the Sabbath, 



Sacks abandoned religion at 18 but craved a “deeper connection. 


M y mother and her 17 

brothers and sisters had an 
Orthodox upbringing — all 
photographs of their father show 
him wearing a yarmulke, and I was 
told that he woke up if it fell off dur- 
ing the night. My father, too, came 
from an Orthodox background. 

Both my parents were very con- 
scious of the Fourth Commandment 
(“Remember the Sabbath day, to 
keep it holy”), and the Sabbath 
(Shabbos, as we called it in our 
Litvak way) was entirely different 
from the rest of the week. No work 
was allowed, no driving, no use of 
the telephone; it was forbidden to 
switch on a light or a stove. Being 
physicians, my parents made excep- 
tions. They could not take the phone 
off the hook or completely avoid 
driving; they had to be available, if 
necessary, to see patients, or operate, 
or deliver babies. 

We lived in a fairly Orthodox Jewish 
community in Cricklewood, in 
Northwest London — the butcher, 
the baker, the grocer, the greengro- 
cer, the fishmonger all closed their 
shops in good time for the Shabbos, 
and did not open their shutters till 
Sunday morning. All of them, and 
all of our neighbors, we imagined, were 
celebrating Shabbos in much the same 
fashion as we did. 

Around midday on Friday, my mother 
doffed her surgical identity and attire and 
devoted herself to making gefilte fish and 
other delicacies for Shabbos. Just before 
evening fell, she would light the ritual can- 
dles, cupping their flames with her hands 
and murmuring a prayer. We would all put 
on clean, fresh Shabbos clothes, and gather 
for the first meal of the Sabbath, the eve- 
ning meal. My father would lift his silver 
wine cup and chant the blessings and the 
Kiddush, and after the meal, he would lead 
us all in chanting the grace. 

On Saturday mornings, my three brothers 
and I trailed our parents to Cricklewood 
Synagogue on Walm Lane, a huge shul 
built in the 1930s to accommodate part 
of the exodus of Jews from the East End 
to Cricklewood. The shul was always full 
during my boyhood, and we all had our 
assigned seats, the men downstairs and 
the women — my mother, various aunts 


and cousins — upstairs; as a little boy, I 
sometimes waved to them during the ser- 
vice. Though I could not understand the 
Flebrew in the prayer book, I loved its 
sound and especially hearing the old medi- 
eval prayers sung, led by our wonderfully 
musical hazan, or cantor. 

All of us met and mingled outside the 
synagogue after the service — and we would 
usually walk to the house of my Auntie 
Florrie and her three children to say a 
Kiddush, accompanied by sweet red wine 
and honey cakes, just enough to stimulate 
our appetites for lunch. After a cold lunch 
at home — gefilte fish, poached salmon, 
beetroot jelly — Saturday afternoons, if not 
interrupted by emergency medical calls for 
my parents, would be devoted to family 
visits. Uncles and aunts and cousins would 
visit us for tea, or we them; we all lived 
within walking distance of one another. 

The Second World War decimated our Jew- 
ish community in Cricklewood, and the 
Jewish community in England as a whole 
was to lose thousands of people in the 


postwar years. Many Jews, includ- 
ing cousins of mine, emigrated to 
Israel; others went to Australia, 
Canada, or the States; my eldest 
brother, Marcus, went to Australia 
in 1950. Many of those who stayed 
assimilated and adopted diluted, 
attenuated forms of Judaism. Our 
synagogue, which would be packed 
to capacity when I was a child, grew 
emptier by the year. 

I chanted my bar mitzvah portion 
in 1946 to a relatively full syna- 
gogue, including several dozen of 
my relatives, but this, for me, was 
the end of formal Jewish practice. 

I did not embrace the ritual duties 
of a Jewish adult — praying every 
day, putting on tefillin before prayer 
each weekday morning — and I 
gradually became more indifferent 
to the beliefs and habits of my par- 
ents, though there was no particular 
point of rupture until I was 18. It 
was then that my father, inquiring 
into my sexual feelings, compelled 
me to admit that I liked boys. 

“I haven’t done anything,” I said, 
“it’s just a feeling — but don’t tell 
Ma, she won’t be able to take it.” 

He did tell her, and the next morn- 
ing she came down with a look of horror 
on her face, and shrieked at me, “You are 
an abomination. I wish you had never been 
born.” (She was no doubt thinking of the 
verse in Leviticus that reads, “If a man 
also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a 
woman, both of them have committed an 
abomination: They shall surely be put to 
death; their blood shall be upon them.”) 

The matter was never mentioned again, but 
her harsh words made me hate religion’s 
capacity for bigotry and cruelty. 

FTER I QUALIFIED as a doctor in 
1960, 1 removed myself abruptly 
from England and what family and 
community I had there, and went to the 
New World, where I knew nobody. When 
I moved to Los Angeles, I found a sort of 
community among the weight lifters on 
Muscle Beach, and with my fellow neurol- 
ogy residents at UCLA, but I craved some 
deeper connection — “meaning” — in my 
life, and it was the absence of this, I think, 
that drew me into a near-suicidal addiction 
to amphetamines in the 1960s. 



THE WEEK September 11, 2015 



Courtesy of the personal collection of Oliver Sacks 


The last word 


37 


Recovery started, slowly, when I found 
meaningful work in New York, in a 
chronic care hospital in the Bronx (the 
“Mount Carmel” I wrote about in 
Awakenings). I was fascinated by my 
patients there, cared for them deeply, and 
felt something of a mission to tell their 
stories — stories of situations virtually 
unknown, almost unimaginable, to the 
general public and, indeed, to many of 
my colleagues. I had discovered my voca- 
tion, and this I pursued doggedly, single- 
mindedly, with little encouragement from 
my colleagues. 

Almost unconsciously, I became a story- 
teller at a time when medical narrative was 
almost extinct. This did not dissuade me, 
for I felt my roots lay in the great neuro- 
logical case histories of the 19th century 
(and I was encouraged here by the great 
Russian neuropsychologist A.R. Luria). It 
was a lonely but deeply satisfying, almost 
monkish existence that I was to lead for 
many years. 

During the 1990s, I came to know a 
cousin and contemporary of mine, Robert 
John Aumann, a man of remarkable 
appearance with his robust, athletic build 
and long, white beard that made him, 
even at 60, look like an ancient sage. He 
is a man of great intellectual power but 
also of great human warmth and tender- 
ness, and deep religious commitment — 
“commitment,” indeed, is one of his 
favorite words. Although, in his work, he 
stands for rationality in economics and 
human affairs, there is no conflict for him 
between reason and faith. 

He insisted I have a mezuzah on my door, 
and brought me one from Israel. “I know 
you don’t believe,” he said, “but you 
should have one anyhow.” I didn’t argue. 

In a remarkable 2004 interview, Robert 
John spoke of his lifelong work in math- 
ematics and game theory, but also of his 
family — how he would go skiing and 
mountaineering with some of his nearly 
30 children and grandchildren (a kosher 
cook, carrying saucepans, would accom- 
pany them), and the importance of the 
Sabbath to him. 

“The observance of the Sabbath is extremely 
beautiful,” he said, “and is impossible with- 
out being religious. It is not even a question 
of improving society — it is about improving 
one’s own quality of life.” 

In December 2005, Robert John received 
a Nobel Prize for his 50 years of fun- 
damental work in economics. He was 
not entirely an easy guest for the Nobel 
Committee, for he went to Stockholm 


with his family, including many of those 
children and grandchildren, and all had 
to have special kosher plates, utensils, and 
food, and special formal clothes, with no 
biblically forbidden admixture of wool 
and linen. 

T hat same month, I was found to 
have cancer in one eye, and while 
I was in the hospital for treat- 
ment the following month, Robert John 
visited. He was full of entertaining stories 
about the Nobel Prize and the ceremony 
in Stockholm, but made a point of saying 
that, had he been compelled to travel to 
Stockholm on a Saturday, he would have 



Sacks in 1964, after coming to the U.S. 


refused the prize. His commitment to the 
Sabbath, its utter peacefulness and remote- 
ness from worldly concerns, would have 
trumped even a Nobel. 

In 1955, as a 22-year-old, I went to Israel 
for several months to work on a kibbutz, 
and though I enjoyed it, I decided not to go 
again. Even though so many of my cousins 
had moved there, the politics of the Middle 
East disturbed me, and I suspected I would 
be out of place in a deeply religious society. 
But in the spring of 2014, hearing that my 
cousin Marjorie — a physician who had 
been a protegee of my mother’s and had 
worked in the field of medicine till the age 
of 98 — was nearing death, I phoned her in 
Jerusalem to say farewell. Her voice was 
unexpectedly strong and resonant, with 
an accent very much like my mother’s. “I 
don’t intend to die now,” she said, “I will 
be having my 100th birthday on June 18. 
Will you come?” 

I said, “Yes, of course!” When I hung 
up, I realized that in a few seconds I had 


reversed a decision of almost 60 years. 

It was purely a family visit. I celebrated 
Marjorie’s 100th with her and extended 
family. I saw two other cousins dear to 
me in my London days, innumerable sec- 
ond and removed cousins, and, of course, 
Robert John. I felt embraced by my family 
in a way I had not known since childhood. 

I had felt a little fearful visiting my 
Orthodox family with my lover, Billy — my 
mother’s words still echoed in my mind — 
but Billy, too, was warmly received. How 
profoundly attitudes had changed, even 
among the Orthodox, was made clear by 
Robert John when he invited Billy and me 
to join him and his family at their opening 
Sabbath meal. 

The peace of the Sabbath, of a stopped 
world, a time outside time, was palpable, 
infused everything, and I found myself 
drenched with a wistfulness, something akin 
to nostalgia, wondering what if: What if A 
and B and C had been different? What sort 
of person might I have been? What sort of 
a life might I have lived? 

In December 2014, 1 completed my mem- 
oir, On the Move, and gave the manuscript 
to my publisher, not dreaming that days 
later I would learn I had metastatic cancer, 
coming from the melanoma I’d had in my 
eye nine years earlier. I am glad I was able 
to complete my memoir without knowing 
this, and that I had been able, for the first 
time in my life, to make a full and frank 
declaration of my sexuality, facing the 
world openly, with no more guilty secrets 
locked up inside me. 

In Eebruary, I felt I had to be equally open 
about my cancer — and facing death. I was 
in the hospital when my essay on this, “My 
Own Life,” was published. In July I wrote 
another piece, “My Periodic Table,” in 
which the physical cosmos, and the elements 
I loved, took on lives of their own. 

And now, weak, short of breath, my once 
firm muscles melted away by cancer, I find 
my thoughts, increasingly, not on the 
supernatural or spiritual, but on what is 
meant by living a good and worthwhile 
life — achieving a sense of peace within one- 
self. I find my thoughts drifting to the Sab- 
bath, the day of rest, the seventh day of the 
week, and perhaps the seventh day of one’s 
life as well, when one can feel that one’s 
work is done, and one may, in good con- 
science, rest. 


“Sabbath” by Oliver Sacks. Copyright © 
2015 by Oliver Sacks, originally published 
in The New York Times, used by permis- 
sion of The Wylie Agency LLC. 


THE WEEK September 11, 2015 


38 


The Puzzle Page 


Crossword No. 326: Open-and-Shut Case by Matt Gaffney 



ACROSS 

1 Subject once you go 
20-Across 

5 USMC pattern 

9 Work with a score 

14 Gillette brand 

15 Country on a 
peninsula 

16 Arabic for "permitted" 

17 Not just impolite 

18 Far from medal 
contention 

19 One of the Mario Bros. 

20 Where towns and 
cities send kids 
around 36-Across 

23 Gets 

24 Weekend activities 

28 David Sedaris' sister 

29 Not very much 

30 Man's name that 
reverses to another 
man's name 

31 Close call 

34 Vodka amount 

35 Outer layer 

36 Late summer time 

39 Store sign 

40 Self-cleaning 
appliance 

41 Halloween supply 

42 Mining concern 

43 Cash register slot 

44 Command to a corgi 

45 Fierce fish 

47 Sweet stuff 

51 What towns and 
cities may do after 
36-Across 


53 Arizona's saguaros, 
e.g. 

56 Shady character? 

57 Patsy Cline or Adele 

58 Coffeemaker brand 

59 Mideast boss 

60 Solemn act 

61 Microsoft bought it in 
2011 

62 Window section 

63 Florida chain 


DOWN 

1 Quick snake 

2 Bothered persistently 

3 Pamphlet 

4 Homer hero 

5 Group of ants 

6 Build up 

7 Like "der" words, in 
Ger. 

8 Ready to party 

9 Exasperated cry 

10 Zahn or Deen 

11 Director Roth 

12 Scrap of cloth 

13 Iconic puncher 

21 Noisemaker in the 
kitchen 

22 Talk to the crowd 

25 Pair with swooshes on 
them 

26 Manhattan, e.g. 

27 Vegas hotel where the 
Rat Pack hung out, 
with "The" 

29 "Now I remember" 

31 John B, e.g. 


32 Island you can see 
from Naples 

33 " Can Named 

Desire" {King of the 
Hill episode) 

34 Streamline the process 

35 Where kids perform 
ollies 

37 Ukulele maestro 

38 Actor Hirsch 

43 Connected 

44 Area 

46 Misbehave 

47 Big mug 

48 "I'm serious!" 

49 Eccentric 

50 Fleshy plants 

52 Late humorist 
Bombeck 

53 Scorpion network 

54 Spielberg title word 

55 Caribbean island 


The Week Contest 


This week's question: A recent hack revealed that the 
overwhelming majority of paying subscribers to adul- 
tery website Ashley Madison were men, and that many 
female profiles on the site were fakes. In seven words 
or less, come up with an honest new slogan for Ashley 
Madison that could replace the site's motto, "Life is 
short. Have an affair." 

Last week's contest: Sesame Street has signed a deal 
with HBO that will broadcast new episodes of the 
beloved kids' show on a network best known for gritty, 
gory, and sexually explicit dramas. If HBO were to pro- 
duce a new crossover show for adults involving charac- 
ters from Sesame Street, what title could it have? 

THE WINNER: "The Cookie Mobster" — /Cen Kellam III, Dallas 

SECOND PLACE: "True Blood: Brought to You by the 
Letters A, B, and O" —Angela Fingard, Shorewood, Wis. 

THIRD PLACE: "A Nightmare on Elmo Street" 

Jody Potter, Millerton, N. Y 

For runners-up and complete contest rules, please go 
to theweek.com/contest. 

Howto enter: Submissions should be emailed to 
contest@theweek.com . Please include your name, 
address, and daytime telephone number for verifica- 
tion; this week, please type "Dismal affair" in the 
subject line. Entries are due by noon. Eastern Time, 
Tuesday, Sept. 8. Winners will appear on the Puzzle 
Page next issue and at theweek.com/ 
puzzles on Friday, Sept. 11. In the case 
of identical or similar entries, the first 
one received gets credit. 

A The winner gets a one-year 
subscription to The Week. 



Sudoku 

Fill in all the 
boxes so that 
each row, column, 
and outlined 
square includes 
all the numbers 
from 1 through 9. 

Difficulty: 

super-hard 



8 




7 

4 







5 




1 


3 

9 




6 

7 



4 



7 

8 

3 














3 

2 

6 



8 



9 

7 




1 

2 


2 




1 







8 

5 




4 



Find the solutions to all The Week's puzzles online: www.theweek.com/puzzle. 


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00 

oc 

O 

2 


THE WEEK September 11, 2015 


Sources: A complete list of publications cited in The 1/1/ee/c can be found at theweek.com/sources. 




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